‘When I was a young man going to college, my father wisely shared his wisdom on life. Whatever you choose to do in life, do it because you love it, not because it will make you wealthy. Wealth is no substitution for happiness.
Tonight, like so many nights, I had the validation of my father’s wisdom. Dave and Mary, a husband and wife that are bee keepers, came for dinner. They were introduced to my restaurant many years ago by Steve and Kathy who are almond farmers here in Ripon.
I love to sit and chat with them because they are just good folks. The topic of organic honey came up and the education that followed was enlightening.
There are no standards for USD certified organic honey. A majority of organic honey is coming out of Brazil or Mexico. The two standards they use in Brazil are: One, that the surrounding land where the bees fly (about 3 miles) must be a certified organic area, with no pesticides or chemicals present. Two, the material that used inside the hives must not contain any synthetic chemicals that are prohibited by the EU.
The honey I use at the Barnwood is Dave and Mary’s, which is raw. Most honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but commercial honey, which has been pasteurized and heated to 70 degrees or more and rapidly cooled. Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation. It also slows down crystallization in liquid honey. The problem with this is that when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed. So because of this raw honey is assumed to be more nutritious for adults not children, than honey that has undergone heat treatment.
Raw honey is one of nature’s purest foods. It contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, and thousands of enzymes it is also a natural antioxidant.
So now it is time to grab some honey and get creative. Bon appétit.