True Source Certified Honey: A Journey from Hive to Snack Bar
Written by Registered Dietitian, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, MS, RDN
Since ancient times, honey has been used for both medicinal purposes and for therapeutic uses. The compounds in honey such as flavonoids and phenolic acid help with a range of purposes from wound healing, alleviating stomach issues, to cough suppression. The antioxidants in honey have a protective effect in the body and can help the digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular system. That’s why incorporating honey into an already balanced diet and lifestyle can serve up some major health benefits.
Because there are so many varieties of honey, the vitamins and minerals composition vary based on its origin, processing and environmental conditions. Minerals like zinc, selenium, potassium and calcium are in honey as well as vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B but the honey production process can cause these values to waver. That's why you want to look for a pure honey that is from sustainable honey sourcing and has the True Source Certified honey seal of approval. This will ensure the quality of the honey is pure, sustainable and environmentally friendly, just like all the bars offered at Kate’s Real Food.
Studies have found that foods with the phytonutrients in honey can offer protective properties against cardiovascular disease and even can reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL and can improve blood vessel dilation. Plus, honey can offer a barrier and protective lining to the throat when ingested, so it can be recommended to help suppress a cough or soothe a sore throat. As you can see, there are many health benefits in honey!
What is the significance of True Source Certified honey and its impact on sustainability and quality?
Because honey (and nearly any food product) can be deceitful in their claims and marketing on packaging, True Source Certified honey is a voluntary stamp that shows the honey has been third party tested for its claims. The quality of a product that is True Source Certified is double and triple checked so you know what you are getting is actually real, authentic, and honest. Plus, it confirms that the supply chain of the honey packers, honey processors, collectors, and local beekeepers are traceable and fall within standards of practice. Kate’s Real Food uses this auditing system to promise to their consumers that their sourcing of honey is in full compliance with U.S. and international trade laws. Talk about a stamp of approval! Honey traceability and honey purity are integral when choosing a good-for-you and natural snack bar which is why Kate’s Real Food decided to showcase their honesty with the True Source Certified marking on every one of their bars.
How can you tell if honey is pure and authentic?
Thankfully, the True Source Certified voluntary and traceable stamp of approval is the golden standard for knowing if the honey in your product meets the high quality standards and requirements. There is no way of knowing if the honey is pure and authentic without this marking. It signifies honey purity as well as ensuring the product is sourced from ethical and sustainable resources while making a positive impact on the environment. Plus, with all of these checks and balances in play, you better bet the taste of the honey is as delicious and pure as it gets! When in doubt, always reach out to the company that sells the honey and ask questions that would make you, as a consumer, feel that the product is trustworthy and honest.
What is the difference between raw, organic, and regular honey?
When looking at a honey comparison between raw, organic and regular, although often marginal, there are still some differences especially in the way they are processed. Because raw honey doesn’t go through any high heat, pasteurization or processing, there are more nutrients and naturally-occuring enzymes in raw honey than regular honey. The less processing, the more bioavailable nutrients and vitamins from honey to soak in!
Organic honey is different from raw and regular honey because the honey, bees, and flowers cannot be contaminated with chemicals, pesticides or anything that isn’t within USDA standards and guidelines. Within the United States, organic honey may or may not be raw so it’s always best to look at the label to see for yourself!
However, due to the fact that raw honey goes either straight to packaging or into already made products, consuming raw honey can pose a risk because it may contain bacteria known as clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is particularly harmful to babies or children under the age of 1 because of their developing immune systems and digestive tracts. For this reason, raw honey (and to be safe, any type of honey), is recommended to be avoided for children under the age of 1. Young children over the age of 1 can safely eat honey because their bodies can fight off and properly metabolize any potential bacteria spores.
Is honey better for you than other sweeteners?
Yes! Because honey derives strictly from nature, it contains a wide variety of trace nutrients, ranging from antioxidants to vitamins and minerals. Honey is filled with anti-inflammatory properties as well as phytonutrient compounds that help to ease cold symptoms and boost immunity too. When compared to other sweeteners, clinical studies have shown that honey consumption reduces blood sugar spikes after meals which help to keep blood sugar levels balanced. Despite any health misconceptions you may have heard, white table sugar does not contain any of the antibacterial, antimicrobial or metabolic properties that honey does, so when in doubt, reach for honey over other sweeteners in your cooking, baking and crafting in the kitchen. If you can, always opt for snack bars with honey, like Kate’s Real Food, over other sweeteners to help reel in some additional health benefits.
Embracing honey as a natural sweetener in our diet goes beyond its delightful taste, unfolding a myriad of health benefits and contributing to a more sustainable food system. The True Source Certified seal assures us of honey’s purity and authenticity, underpinning the commitment of companies like Kate's Real Food to ethical and environmentally friendly practices. Let's make the conscious choice for our health and the planet, because with every spoonful of honey or bite of a snack bar, we are indeed savoring nature's very own gold standard of sweetness.