Monday, August 24, 2009

Eating Local, Honey and Eggs

I am sure most of you have known or heard this...if not you've been living in a cave.

At our local farmer's market, there is dude selling honey from local bees. Actually he lives about a mile away. His honey is amazing. He makes all sorts of consumables from it and sells one of my kids favorite things... honey sticks. The kids suck these things down like little addicts. We see this and I think emotionally "OK, enough sweets! Go grab a radish and eat it you need more fruits and vegetables and quit playing Wii." Yet intellectually, we are thinking, "Bees? Honey? Natural? Good?, maybe I should be encouraging this" Plus, for years there have been the pundits extolling the virtues of the eating local honey in order to stave off seasonal allergies. This got my 10cc brain really chirping.

Here are some hypothesis:

If honey is raised local, then eating it would allow your body to absorb and become familiar with local pollen thereby building an immunity to those things that cause said allergies.

If a person eats local food then the minerals and matter in the local soil/air will be consumed and yield a healthier existence. ( all things being equal - so if you live next to a refinery, all bets are off)

The latter hypothesis is one I read somewhere and it got me thinking. I have heard and read about people moving to other parts of the USA and becoming perpetually sick, seriously fatigued, increased allergies, digestive issues among numerous other ailments and link them back to the move. Why? Could be as simple as the air and the food consumed? The water from local sources? I think it is the relationship between man and nature - more specific your local Terra Firma, and how we've become accustomed and adapted to our local areas. Therefore eating local is what your body desires and needs versus eating a tomato grown in Ecuador. Why do people who live in India drink the water and not get sick? We go there and drink it and we've have to take a long-term lease on a toilet and get used to pink chalky taste in our mouths. Because our body cannot handle the microorganisms there. While this is an extreme example, I think this exist right here in the USA. And more to the point, I think eating local foods, honey and eggs is better for you than buying foods and water produced half-way across the planet. I say this as a general statement. I know I have traveled throughout Europe and Asia and survived, but let me tell you, it did not come without a price. I got to the point where I was packing Powerbars and Honey to survive, especially in Asia. I used to hit the tarmac at SFO and kiss the ground I lived on.

So, my point is simple. I think eating local is good for your health and for the local economy. If that is not enough... check out what is in honey.

Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron and phosphate.

It contains vitamins B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 all of which change according to the qualities of the nectar and pollen. Besides the above, copper, iodine, and zinc exist in it in small quantities. Several kinds of hormones are also present in it. Approximately one half of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees. Today honeybees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy.

If you have allergies, honey can be beneficial. If you eat honey that is local to your area, it may help prevent your seasonal allergies. Bees use the pollen from local plants and eventually it ends up in your honey.

Honey may also be good for your skin. It has the ability to attract water. It is also safe for sensitive skin. You can use it as a moisturizing mask for your skin as well as your hair. To use it as a conditioner, mix the honey with olive oil. Be sure to wash your hair thoroughly before you go outside.

If you have a sore throat, take some honey.[ Honey has powerful antimicrobial properties, which can soothe your raw tissues. Pour a teaspoon of honey into a large serving spoon and then top off the spoon with lemon juice. Swallow the concoction (without water) every few hours until symptoms clear up. Some people add a pinch of black or red pepper to increase blood circulation to the throat.] Due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, it will help to heal the wounds more quickly.It also has different phytochemicals--chemicals found in plants and different foods--that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungus making it a good substitute for wound dressings. The taste may also take your mind off the pain. There is evidence that honey diluted in water will help with your stomach aches and dehydration.

Do you have a cut? Honey is a natural antiseptic. Medical journals cite more than 600 cases in which honey was employed to treat wounds.By applying honey to your wounds, you prevent infections. Honey contains antimicrobial agents, which prevents infections by killing the bacteria in and around your wounds. When using honey it may help to heat it up before putting it on your wound (caution test the heat before you place it on the wound).Many types of bacteria can’t survive in honey, so wounds heal, swelling eases, and tissue can grow back.

Honey may also be effective in the treatment of your ulcers.In Europe, honey has been used internally to help cure ulcers, particularly stomach ulcers. Burns, too, heal better with honey, studies show. The advantage of honey is that it not only prevents infections from occurring, it actually accelerates skin healing.. Since the sugar in honey absorbs water it helps to trap some of the moisture so that the bacteria and other microbes can’t grow as easily as in other food.

I am walking out to the kitchen, plopping a tablespoon into the honey, adding some Sumatra Cinnamon and pigging out. Who's with me!!!!?


  1. Great post; good information. As a sufferer of seasonal allergies I have heard the argument for tolerance-building via honey (especially after a cross-country move last year).

    I'm also allergic to bee stings and on occasion, had small reactions to honey (hives/minor swelling) which always led me to ask - am I having a reaction because of the bees or the plants that were used to make the honey.

    However, honey is delicious and now that I have a beekeeper for a neighbor, I've been trying to slip some fresh honey into my diet.

  2. I completely agree and believe the theory, as it has yet to be dismissed. It simply makes sense. I think there is a dearth of information and science on this since it is not a government funded project. Maybe a university will do something on this and prove it out.

    Honey is good, local produce is fresher, eggs produced in a backyard are better nutritionally for you.