One of the healthiest (if not the healthiest) sweeteners, honey is a gift from mother nature. Drizzled over baklava, used as sugar in tea or coffee, a glaze for salmon; the applications for honey are endless.
Dating as far back as written history and likely beyond that, honey was a staple of early civilization. The name ‘honey’ is derived from the old English word ‘hunig’ and it was the first widely used sweetener. Mentions of the sweet stuff can be found in the Bible (Israel is referred to as the “land of milk and honey”) and it’s use in mead, one of the oldest alcoholic drinks, illustrates how deeply rooted honey is in history.
At one point, honey was such a hot commodity, that it was used as currency or as a tribute to feudal lords.
Today, honey is more popular than ever.
This past year, almost 3 million bee colonies produced 149 million pounds of honey in the U.S. alone. It is estimated that we will consume nearly 450 million pounds (1.3 pounds a person) of it in 2014.
We like our honey. A lot.
Some of us may be eating it to combat seasonal allergies with locally sourced honey… it is rumored that it acts like a vaccine due the fact the the flowers that were pollinated come from the same source that makes you sneeze every spring. Sadly, this is not the case, but it can boost immunity, help heal wounds and soothe that pesky cough that just won’t go away.
Other unbeelieveable honey facts:
- The nectar from two million flowers must be taken in order to make a pound of honey
- The average honeybee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. (Talk about having little to show for all of the work put into making the stuff)
- The ancient (and very dangerous) art of honey hunting, dating back at least a thousand years, is still practiced today in Nepal. Photogragher Andrew Newey captured stunning photos of honey hunters at work high up in the Himalayan Foothills.