In my industry and with my business I get countless of emails and questions about organic honey.
This seems to be a topic that I’m very passionate about and it gets my blood boiling yet I can’t blame the average honey consumer for not understanding the industry like I do. I am here to scream at the top of my lungs that there is no such thing as organic honey here in the US. I have to warn you that if you purchase organic honey you are merely buying an idea and falsehood for an extra price tag.
Here in the US, the USDA has NO certification process for honey to go through to prove that it is organic. Nothing. Zilch. If you think about it, a honeybee has a 6-mile flight radius of foraging so how would you dictate or control where a honeybee flies to or where she gathers her nectar from? A beekeeper may put their hives on organic land however the bee will have no problem buzzing on over to the next farm or two that may or may not be certified organic. Its a crap shoot to say the least.
I can guarantee if you walk into a Whole Foods, Sprouts or other natural grocer you will see a brand of honey with a “certified USDA organic” label on it.
This has become misleading to the average honey consumer for the fact that the honey may actually be certified however it comes from a different country! There are a handful of countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Egypt that will give their honey an organic certification and then they import their honey into the US for a local company to put their own label on it.
Since it was imported and came with an organic certification then the USDA has to recognize it here in the states. It is such a tricky way to fool the consumer and who actually has time to read the labels anyhow! I sure don’t!
But I challenge you next time you see an “organic honey” to pick it up and read the fine print and actually see what country it comes from!
If you see organic honey at a farmers market they are simply selling you something that can’t be confirmed at an astronomical price! So until we can come up with a national standard for honey labeling I will do my best to inform and educate on this topic. Please know where your honey comes from and what you are buying. Support the beekeepers that you know and trust and let your taste buds dictate which brand they love the most!