The sweet natural goodness of pure honey is hard to beat when you’re looking for a delicious, all-natural way to sweeten your favourite foods and drinks that may also provide powerful health benefits. Nothing else is quite the same — or quite as good.
There are a lot of great reasons to keep honey in your pantry and to use it on a regular basis. And there are so many ways to integrate honey into your diet. Whether mixing it into your tea or drizzling it on peanut butter toast, it tastes divine.
But what kind of honey should you have on your pantry shelves? If you’re looking for the best-tasting honey with the most powerful benefits, the answer is local honey.
Not mass-marketed, made-on-the-other-side-of-the-world honey that’s shipped a long distance to get to your supermarket, but honey made by bees in your region that’s packaged and sold locally.
Why’s that? What’s so great about local honey, and importantly our Heron Farm Honey? We’ve come up with 5 great reasons why you should only buy (and use) local honey.
When you purchase local honey from a producer you know and trust, there’s no question about whether what you are getting is, in fact, pure honey. Local honey is packaged for sale without other substances mixed in. That’s not the case with everything in a store that appears to be honey. When shopping in a supermarket, you have to look carefully at product labels to make sure the products that look like honey really are, in fact, honey.
Honey bees don’t travel far from home to gather pollen. They generally make honey using pollen from flowers that grow within a mile or so of their hive, which in our case includes heritage Apple trees, our vineyard, kitchen and courtyard gardens. The flowers that the pollen comes from ultimately impact what the honey tastes like. As a result, the flavour profile of honey is directly impacted by the flora that grows immediately surrounding the hive where it’s made.
That unique local taste is referred to as terroir, which means a taste that is specific to a certain area. The term terroir is often used in reference to wine and chocolate, but it is just as applicable to pure honey.
Not everything that resembles honey is actually pure honey. Even if it’s in a super-cute package shaped like a bee hive or a bear, that doesn’t mean that it’s truly 100% honey. Many mass-market honey products — those referred to as honey blends — include refined sugar or even high fructose corn syrup, which means they’re really not honey at all.
The Allergy Myth
Will consuming local honey cure your allergies? No. Honey isn’t a cure for allergies. But, according to some natural and holistic medical providers and a review in Frontiers in Pharmacology, local honey may help relieve allergy symptoms in some people. One theory about why honey works is that it’s a function of what the person is allergic to and whether the bees who made the honey have fed on local pollen from the plants that trigger the individual’s allergies.
If you regularly consume honey that contains one or more of the very things that cause you to sniffle and sneeze, it just might help relieve associated symptoms over the long term. That’s why it’s so important to use only local honey if you’re hoping for relief from seasonal allergies triggered by pollen. Honey from outside of where you live isn’t likely to contain pollen from whatever plants trigger your allergy symptoms.
Honey should not be viewed as a replacement for an overall allergy treatment plan coordinated by your medical provider.
Consider the impact your purchase decision will have on your local economy. Local honey comes from local beekeepers, so buying local helps entrepreneurs stay in business and support themselves while also (in some cases) creating local jobs. What better way to be neighbourly?
We have our own Heron Farm honey now, new for 2024 but also stock a range of local honey’s including Blackberry Farm.
The economic benefits of buying local honey don’t stop there. Not only will you play a role in helping local beekeepers build and sustain successful enterprises, but you’ll also boost your community as a whole by keeping your hard-earned money right there in the local economy.
Is this a big deal? It absolutely is. If every one of us sent just £100 a year in our local economy rather than the big chains, then we would divert £3 million pounds back into the local purse. A lot of the honey and honey blend products sold in supermarkets are imported from other countries. The more people who buy local honey, the less demand there will be for overseas honey — and fewer UK £ will be leaving the country.
Save The Bees
Better still, it’s not just the beekeepers and the local economy that benefit when you purchase local honey. You’re also helping the bees. And who doesn’t want to save the bees? After all, bees are essential to biodiversity and life on Earth as we know it. There have been and continue to be massive declines in the honey bee population, both in the wild and in commercial hives. The reality is that we need them, and for a lot more than just honey production.
Why not head to our website and check out our Bee Collection, which includes our Heron Farm honey produced here on the farm, and a selection of Devon honey’s from producers local to Honiton!