Are you eating fake honey? Probably, if tests conducted for Food Safety News are correct.
Those tests found that approximately 75% of all honey sold in the United States includes no pollen whatsoever. According to the Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization and the European Commission, honey without pollen isn't real honey.
Pollen is the only way to determine the honey's origin, which is necessary to ensure safety. In the past, countries like India and China have dumped contaminated honey into the European and North American markets, reports Food Safety News. The lack of pollen made it impossible to determine where it came from.
If governments can pinpoint the geographical source of contaminated honey, they can more easily keep it from entering the country.
Not only is real honey arguably safer than fake honey, it is believed to have medicinal properties. It includes antioxidants and has anti-allergenic properties, according to the website. It also just tastes better.
So how do you find real honey?
Tests concluded that most honey sold at farmers' markets and co-ops and natural stores like Trader Joes contains pollen. If you don't have these resources, honey labeled as "organic" will improve your odds. A number of small companies also sell the real stuff online.
For the big honey consumers out there, consider contacting the FDA. Despite industry pleas, the agency hasn't done much to enforce its honey pollen standards. Some states have stepped up, but national fake honey monitoring and enforcement might be a good idea.