Last month, Best Food Facts headed to California for our inaugural TASTE: Unearthing the Art and Science of Food Blogger Tour. One of our stops during this three-day extravaganza was the Robert Mondavi Institute, which houses the departments of Viticulture and Enology and Food Science and Technology, on the UC Davis Campus.
At the Robert Mondavi Institute, we had a super sweet time learning about (and tasting) honey and chatting with Amina Harris, Executive Director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science at UC Davis. And, now, we are bringing some of that sweetness to you by sharing what we learned in the form of four not-so-sweet honey myths.
The myth of organic honey.
Don’t let labels fool you. Harris told us that there is no certified organic honey produced in the continental United States. There is some organic honey that comes from Hawaii, but for the most part the certified organic honey you find on the shelves will be from other countries.
The myth of the non-GMO honey.
Closely tied to the myth of organic honey, there is no non-GMO certified honey in the United States. Why, you ask? Harris explained to us that to ensure the honey was non-GMO the bee keeper would have to know what was being grown in every corner of the several mile radius of the hive where the bees will go to pollinate flowers and ensure that none of those plants are GMO. A nearly impossible task, especially considering bee hives are often moved.
The myth of natural and non-natural honey.
Spoiler alert! All honey is considered natural whether its label says so or not.
The myth of varietal or mono-floral honey.
A specific honey varietal does not equate to source purity. Harris explained: To be called a specific varietal, a honey need only be from a predominate source and can still be blended.