Tuesday, July 27, 2010

NPR Rains on My Parade, Sort Of

One of the most talked-about uses of honey is in fighting allergies. I don't know the source, but somehow Mark learned that raw honey, or honey that hasn't been heated/pasteurized, was better at fighting allergies because it retained more pollen; moreover, honey in the comb was the ultimate allergy fighter as the pollen sticks to the comb.

Recently, a friend who shares my interest in writing and in DIY food production sent me this link to an article by NPR's Morning Edition. Before the text of the article, however, is a well-done video: "Is Honey Good Medicine or Just a Sweet Treat?" She concludes that because bees can't predictably gather pollen from the plants that people are allergic to in any significant amount, honey is not a reliable allergy fighter. For a moment, I was frustrated, because 1) that ruined a good marketing strategy, and 2) Mark has plans to use a build-in-the-package technology next spring, that will result in the bees building honey comb in the plastic containers you use to sell the product, primarily because of its potential to help people with allergies.

Then I remembered that all of the local beekeepers have told him that most beekeepers don't want to fuss with the comb, and it was in high demand, so it was guaranteed to sell. Apparently people love honey in the comb, regardless of its effect on allergies. So, thanks for being just a passing rainstorm, NPR.

(Image from the National Honey Board Web site, which includes a search engine to help you find local honey.)

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