For this Fun Finds Friday I’m talking about a fun local find, how you could find it too, and why you should!
For years now, while living in suburbia, I have driven past a house that is set back from the road and an older two story farm looking house with a lot of cars and trucks parked in back. Placed behind a strip mall with no homes on either side, and much older and different style than the surrounding homes, I was never quite sure what to think of it. I have seen a little sign hanging from the mailbox that simply says, “honey.”
Always wanting to stop, but never quite daring (something seemed suspicious to me, but I was wrong), I recently stopped with my husband to inquire just what that little sign meant.
We met a nice woman who said she cultivates her own honey and it was for sale! Wow! Local honey! Here, only one and half miles from our house! All this time! Who knew?
She goes by the honor system. She has a little bird looking house that is about 2 feet tall by 8 inches wide with a door that opens. Inside are jars of honey for sale. With a slot for money, you simply put in your cash and take your honey. I’d say she is quite trusting.
We talked a bit and she told us that her honey is cultivated right in her backyard and at her friend’s parent’s house about a mile away. It is filtered, but not pasteurized. She filters it because most people don’t want bits of bees and honeycomb in their honey. But she does not pasteurize it leaving the honey full of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. She was telling us that store bought honey is pasteurized and simply a carbohydrate with no health benefits.
We bought a jar and wow…it is good! It is WAY better than store bought honey. Smooth and silky, I have never tasted honey quite like this one before. Honestly, it’s so good I have only used it for tea or a little here and there. I have not baked with it at all because I want to savor it, but I know I should bake with it!
Local honey (not pasteurized) has great health benefits. Using store bought honey is probably no different than using white sugar, and I’m guilty of it. As with all healthier foods, local honey is more expensive. But let’s take a look at the benefits of local (raw) honey. (I need the reminder too).
Local, unpasteurized honey:
- Is full natural vitamins, enzymes, and anti-oxidants. These nutrients are destroyed in the pasteurization of common store bought honey.
- Is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Is good for outdoor seasonal allergies by taking 1 tsp. several times a day before allergy season begins.
- Is good for treating skin wounds, rashes and burns.
- Can coat and soothe a sore throat.
- Is a good natural preservative.
- Can be used as an expectorant and inhaled with steam to unblock sinuses.
I also found many more interesting facts and health benefits about local, raw, honey that are too numerous to list here. Suffice it to say, local honey is a health boon, while store bought honey is often a conglomerate of honey from several different countries, all mixed together with the nutrients and enzymes sucked out. (I checked my store bought honey jar and it was labeled as coming from USA, Argentina and Canada).
I know for myself, I am going to start eating a teaspoon of my local honey twice a day come March. I had such a terrible spring season of allergies and ended up on four different prescription drugs and a steroid shot. If this would work and I could get off of all the springtime medicine I would be a happy camper!
If you are interested in finding local honey, I found this website called Honey Locator. You can click on your state and find local honey vendors. Or you could try Local Harvest. However, I tested my state on both sites and my local honey vendor wasn’t on there. In that case you could look for local farmer’s markets, or simply Google your hometown and ‘local honey’. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before, but when I tried that I did find my neighborhood honey lady.
So do you use local honey? If you had access to it, would you? How would you use it? Let’s discuss!
Also shared at Real Food Wednesday .