Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Honey for Barbecue

More and more bbq enthusiasts are using honey in their barbecue sauces and in various glazes they use to "finish" their barbecue meats just before serving.

All honey is not created equal. Honey in the grocery store and honey purchased from a local producer are potentially very different. Commercial honey production and importation is difficult to regulate.

There are regulations administered by EPA regarding chemical usage and pollution and also regulations enforced by the FDA that regulate contamination of honey by illegal or unapproved chemicals, along with various state agencies that administer their own food safety programs. In my personal opinion, purchasing honey from a commercial producer incurs more risk that from a local producer.

Know your beekeeper--

If possible, perform a visual inspection of the honey bee-hives and make note of their location, proximity to industrial manufacturing plants, proximity to fresh water, etc.

It stands to reason that honey from a local producer whose hives are located in a rural area near fresh water streams, with fresh vegetation and lots of blossoms is of higher quality than honey from hives located near a chemical plant that spills various polutants into the atmosphere.

At the same time all local producers are not created equal either. Are the hives located next to a crop that is routinely sprayed with insecticides? Does your beekeeper observe commonsense when preparing honey for bottling? How is his or her cleanliness during this process? Under what conditions is this process performed?

These are just some considerations that should be made when making the decision to purchase honey from a local producer versus an unknown entity overseas.

I don't know about you, but I feel more comfortable dealing with a local source.

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