Raw honey benefits include better taste, less drying, and fewer harmful bacteria.
This week’s Food and Wine Magazine has a guide to help you out.
Raw honey is the most commonly consumed honey in the US, but honey producers have been experimenting with ways to make it more palatable to consumers.
“The main reason is that honey is one of the most expensive ingredients in the whole of the food chain,” says Chris Rys, an expert in honey who runs the blog Honey for Life.
“It’s a commodity that you pay a premium for.
It’s a very high-risk commodity.”
The most recent US studies found that raw honey is more likely to contain harmful bacteria than honey produced by using artificial sweeteners and stabilizers.
“Honey has a very good safety profile, but it’s not as good as most other foods,” says Rys.
“Honey is a high-value commodity, and it can be a very risky commodity,” says Paul O’Brien, an environmental consultant based in Los Angeles.
“People have a tendency to want to get their hands on the highest quality products and use them as their primary source of honey.”
The American Honey Board (AHA) recently issued a statement acknowledging the “potential for mislabeling” and urged consumers to use the freshest and most accurate honey they can find.
“While the AHA is committed to the strictest standards of quality, it is important to understand that the best honey is a combination of raw and honey products,” the statement read.
The AHA added that the group will be closely monitoring honey production and testing for harmful bacteria “to ensure that it meets the highest standards for quality.”
Rys says that raw bees are used in the production of a variety of honey products, including honey-based sweeteners, so the safety of honey is of paramount importance to producers.
“The key thing to know is that raw, unprocessed honey is not the same as processed honey,” says O’Connor.
“Processed honey has been refined, it has been filtered, it’s been filtered twice, it needs to be refrigerated, and so on.
But raw honey has no of those things.”
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