In appreciation of their support, we invite Rodale Institute Business Members to share an article about their work on our website. These articles often include insightful information based on their experience and line of work. It provides a unique perspective of organic agriculture that we enjoy sharing with our readers. In honor of National Honeybee Day on August 16th, we are happy to share this article from Wedderspoon Organic
By Kelly Nelson, Publicity/ Media Manager, Wedderspoon Organic USA, LLC
Thirty-nine years ago, New Zealanders Bruce and wife Jenny, decided to learn the ancient art of beekeeping and produce a rare honey variety called manuka honey that only comes from manuka bushes along the pristine landscapes of New Zealand. Two thousand two hundred hives later, Bruce’s bees produce the Wedderspoon Organic brand of Non-GMO honeys, including the best-selling manuka honey in North America.
Throughout the world, manuka honey is valued due to the fact that it is full of potent antioxidants, enzymes and natural properties that keep it fresh naturally without any preservatives or refrigeration.
Contrary to popular belief, there are currently no official standards regarding the labeling of manuka honey. However, the New Zealand Government is in the process of working on labeling guidelines. Unfortunately, as the popularity of manuka honey has increased so have issues surrounding purity of the product. Often, manuka honey is being sold with less than a 50% pollen count and blended with other less expensive honey.
It has been discovered that it is possible to artificially increase one component in the honey called methylglyoxal (MG), by feeding the chemical DHA to the bees or adding it to the honey - a very deceptive and unethical practice. Research [http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/55/5/1289.abstract] shows that high levels of this chemical may also be toxic to living cells and detrimental to diabetics.
What sets Wedderspoon apart is that we consistently strive to keep all of the natural benefits of the honey from being compromised. The numbers you see on our manuka honey jars are potency indicators of a total average of the multiple measurable components including pollen count, PH level consistency, hydrogen peroxide, antioxidant levels, live enzymes, naturally occurring methylglyoxal, and phenolic compounds. We also test for over 250 chemical residues.
“Research shows that there’s more than one important factor in measuring true manuka,” explained Bruce, “For Wedderspoon manuka, we make sure to confirm there is a manuka pollen count of at least 60-70%, the color is not too dark or too light, it has to taste like manuka and not be too bitter, a low HMF, meaning it has not been heated, because heating destroys the healthy, beneficial enzymes, and lastly, antioxidant levels.”
At Wedderspoon, we look for raw, unpasteurized, natural, authentic manuka honey. Currently, Wedderspoon sells organic manuka, beechwood, thyme, rata, and dandelion honeys, which all contain valuable antioxidants.
We are proud that our manuka honey contains no GMO residue and continue to strive to promote healthy beekeeping practices and organic farming – ensuring that organic honey remains a resource we can all enjoy.