I hate being called “honey”, if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post. I could tackle this issue from a feminist perspective, but today I am actually going to discuss why you shouldn’t use honey as a product and this relates to the language we use.
Honey is bee excrement, so why call someone that? Yes it is sweet, but it comes with a steep price. Most honey sold in supermarkets is so processed that it doesn’t even have nutritional benefits (barely any pollen). This is why some people choose to consume raw honey. While this may be more nutritious, it still hurts the bee populations. In all large scale honey processing locations, almost all bees are killed during the process. Even on smaller scale farms, bees can be harmed or killed unintentionally. Entire colonies are often destroyed due to honey production (10-20% are killed in the winter).
Industrial agriculture is the main reason for the decline of the bee population. This is referring to the use of equipment, use of pesticides, and honey production among other things. People often think that honey is for human consumption, but it is not. Honey is created by bees for bees. They need it to survive during the winter. Our society is so used to consuming the secretions of animals, but it is not for us! Dairy is growth formula for baby cows, honey ensures the survival of bees in the winter as they cannot pollinate during the colder months. Additionally, these things are given non offensive names. Honey isn’t called “bee secretion” on the packaging, nor is milk called “cow mucus growth formula”. Furthermore, when you support these industries you support forced breeding and then later on, killing. You truly do vote with your dollar and you can choose to support industries that don’t exploit animals. Bees are also responsible for healthy crops and without bees, our crops would start to fail. Bees as a species are in jeopardy. I’ll stop ranting, back to the honey discussion…
Most of the benefits of honey are actually just marketing tactics. It cannot be proven that local honey helps allergies and most honey marketed as organic or raw is no different than normal supermarket honey. There is no need for honey in our diets. It may satisfy your sweet tooth, but there are many natural sweeteners that do not harm bees. Here are some:
- Maple syrup.
- Agave syrup/nectar (low glycemic).
- Chopped up dates.
- Blackstrap molasses.
- Coconut sugar or date sugar.
- Fruit, such as mashed bananas or apple sauce.
- Stevia products.
You can find most of these on iHerb. If you are worried about the price, most of these are around the same price as honey and can be found at most grocery stores. My favorites are agave and maple syrup, but most of the time fruit is enough sugar for me. If this didn’t convince you to stop using honey as a sweetener, I hope that it convinced you to stop calling people “honey”. There is nothing cute about it and besides the environmental implications, it is an archaic form of affection.
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