Honey Facts #1: Why shouldn’t I feed honey to a child under 1 year old?
WARNING: Do not feed honey to infants under 1 year of age.
Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism – a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year of age). Clostridium botulinum spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in dust, soil and improperly canned foods. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to, but not normally affected by, Clostridium botulinum spores. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the disease infant botulism, adults, including pregnant females, are not. The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is protected.
Spores are inactivated when manufactured food products (such as cereals or nuts) receive a roasting heat treatment. Graham crackers or cereal, for example, would not contain any viable microbial spores.
Honey Facts #2: Why does honey look/taste different?
Honey comes in many colors and flavors – these are called honey varietals and they are determined by the type of flowers the bees visited for nectar. Some are light and sweet; others are dark and bold.
Honey Facts #3: What is raw honey?
While there is no official definition of raw honey, it generally means honey that has not been heated or filtered.
Honey Facts #4: Does honey contain fat or cholesterol?
No! Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates.
Honey Facts #5: Does honey contain sodium?
One tablespoon of honey contains less than 2 milligrams sodium, a level which the Food and Drug administration considers “sodium free”.
Honey Facts #6: How much does honey weigh?
8 fluid oz or 1 cup of honey weighs 12 oz
Honey Facts #7: Is honey pasteurized?
No. Honey is by nature very low in bacteria and other microbes and does not benefit from pasteurization process.
Honey Facts #8: Does honey spoil?
Honey will keep indefinitely if stored in sealed container. It is best stored at room temperature. Refrigeration promotes granulation.
Honey Facts #9: Does honey have an expiration date?
Honey stored in sealed containers can remain stable for decades and even centuries! However, honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes during storage; it tends to darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize. These are temperature-dependent processes, making the shelf life of honey difficult to define.
For practical purposes, a shelf life of two years is often stated. Properly processed, packaged and stored honey retains its quality for a long time. If in doubt, throw it out, and purchase a new jar of honey!
Honey Facts #10: My honey has become solid (granulation, crystallization or sugaring), is it still good?
Granulation, crystallization or sugaring is a natural characteristic of pure honey, which does not harm it or indicate any deterioration of the honey. It is also easily reversed, without harming the honey. Bring a pan of water to a boil, turn off the heat and place the container into this boiling water. Leave until both have cooled.
One thing you may try to prevent granulation is this. If you are buying in large containers that granulate before you are done with them, pour a manageable amount into a smaller “table server” for your table. Store the remainder in the large container in your freezer. Freezer temperatures are too low for glucose molecules to migrate and form crystals. As the table server empties, remove the large container from the freezer long enough for it to warm so you can re-fill the smaller container. Replace the large container in the freezer.
Note: before you pour more honey into your table server be certain that no crystals remain there to act as ‘seed’ for the new honey to granulate around, a condition which will speed up granulation. Also keep in mind that you can eat the honey in a crystallized form. Just scoop out of the jar and spread it on your toast or drop it in your tea!
Honey Facts #11: Is honey a gluten-free food?
Honey is naturally free of gluten. It contains no wheat, barley, rye or oats or their by-products. No gluten containing products are stored or used at Cox Honey Farms.
Honey Facts #12: Does honey contain trans fatty acids?
No. Honey is naturally free of trans fatty acids.
Honey Facts #13: Does Cox’s Honey contain any allergens?
Honey is naturally free of allergens. No allergens are stored or used at Cox Honey Farms.
Honey Facts #14: Does honey contain healthful antioxidants?
Several antioxidants, including pinocembrin, pinobanksin, chrysin, galagin, ascorbic acid, catalase and selenium, have been found in honey. Darker honeys with higher water content have a stronger antioxident potential.
Honey Facts #15: How do I substitute honey for sugar?
Simply substitute 3/4 cup for 1 cup in place of sugar. As a rule reduce the liquid by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used. In baked goods add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every cup of honey used and bake at a temperature 25 degrees lower than instructions call for. In cookie recipes using eggs and no additional liquid, increase the flour by 2 tablespoons per cup of honey or enough flour to give the desired consistency. Chill before shaping and baking.
Helpful hint: Honey can be measured easily by using the same cup used for measuring the oil in a recipe or by coating a cup or spoon with nonstick vegetable spray.
Honey Facts #16: How do bees make honey?
Honey is the sweet fluid produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers. Worker honey bees transform the floral nectar that they gather into honey by adding enzymes to the nectar and reducing the moisture.
Bees also manufacturer edible wax comb in the hive. The honey is stored in these wax cells (the honeycomb) in the upper parts of the hive. When the bees have filled each cell in the comb with honey the bees cover them with wax caps. At harvest time, the beekeeper extracts the honey from the comb and may also sell the wax for many products.
Discover The Story of Honey.
Honey Facts #17: How do bees pollinate plants?
As bees travel from blossom to blossom in search of nectar, they brush against the pollen-bearing parts of a flower (anther or stamen) and pick up pollen. When the honey bee goes to another flower for more food, some of the pollen from the first flower sticks to the second flower. In this way, the flowers are pollinated.
Almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, sunflowers, watermelon and many other crops all benefit from honey bees for pollination.
Honey Facts #18: How do I tell the difference between honeybees and other stinging insects?
To tell the difference between a honeybee and other insects, please visit The Honeybee Difference.