All of Bunnery Natural Foods’ granolas are sweetened with a touch of honey, and that’s all there is in our Teton Wildflower Honey. Collected from happy bees who feast on the abundant varieties of flowers that grow in the pristine Wyoming mountain wilderness, this natural polyfloral honey is one of the most healthful foods available.
Archaeological evidence exists
that places bee hives and honey production, exactly as bees do so today, at a million and a half years ago. Human consumption of honey goes back 15,000 years or more, and although the advent of cultivation of hives is unclear, beekeeping has been practiced at least since 900 B.C., as discovered in archaeological excavations in the Jordan Valley of Israel. This precious food is linked throughout history to cultural, religious, symbolic and commercial associations too numerous to mention. As an offering to deities, symbol of immortality, form of currency and celebratory food, honey figures in civilizations from those of the ancient Egyptians and Mayans onward, and is consumed in every corner of the globe.
Honey is a deceptively complex compound.
Produced primarily by four species of honey bees belonging two main families, European and Asian bees, it is the only material made by an insect that human beings consume. The average bee will produce about a twelfth teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, and the nectar of approximately two million flowers is required to yield a pound of honey. To produce honey, bees convert the sucrose from nectar to the inverted sugars fructose and glucose; these account in roughly equal proportions for seventy percent of honey’s composition, with a water content of about fifteen percent. Other sugars make up an additional ten percent. The last five percent is full of trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that give honey is unique flavor and remarkable beneficial qualities.
The quality and composition
of any honey is directly related to the type and variety of flowers available to the bee. Polyfloral honey produced from many types of flowers is more complex and therefore considered to be superior to monofloral honey, for which reason most honeys are blends. Processing honey is a minimalist procedure designed to preserve the qualities present in the raw product, which usually contains hive and insect debris removed through coarse filtration. Large temperature fluctuations and heating are extremely destructive to honey’s beneficial components: at 98.6 °F, nearly 200 components, including antibacterial ones, are destroyed; at 104 °F, the enzyme invertase is vaporized; and at 122 °F, the honey sugars begin to caramelize.
With 64 calories to refined sugar’s 50,
honey provides more energy but in a far more digestible form that does not deplete vitamins and minerals necessary to digest sugar. It is believed that honey mobilizes stored fat, and when consumed with warm water and lemon juice or ground cinnamon aids in weight reduction. However, these qualities are mundane compared with some of honey’s other properties.
Honey contains trace amounts
of numerous compounds that act as anti-carcinogens and antioxidants, including Vitamin C; quercetin; chrysin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in passion flowers; and pinobanksin and pinocembrin, flavolols that prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Propolis is a compound honey bees produce from their own secretions combined with plant resins and use to seal the hive against bacteria and other microbes. Found in honey in small amounts, propolis contains phytonutrients belonging to the family of caffeic acids that prohibit onset of cancer and tumor formation by blocking the harmful activity of the enzymes phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and lipoxygenase, both implicated in colon cancer.
One of the most striking properties of honey
is its beneficial influence in wound treatment. In a return to ancient healing methods, the Waikato Honey Research Unit of New Zealand is carrying out extensive research confirming the antimicrobial effect of treating burn, diabetic, cancer and plastic surgery wounds with honey. Honey’s high sugar, low pH and low water content help prevent growth of bacteria, stimulate wound tissues and speed healing This effect is significantly enhanced by glucose-oxidase, an enzyme present in honey that causes a small but constant production of the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide from the honey sugars. In its pharmaceutical form, hydrogen peroxide degrades quickly, and the higher concentrations required to preserve efficacy against bacteria can damage skin as well as microbial cells.
There is no end
to the delicious ways in which our Teton Wildflower Honey can brighten your day. Use it in tea, to sweeten yogurt, on toast or cereal, drizzle it over fresh fruit or ice cream, or swirl it into hot buttered rum or cider. And don’t forget to serve it over our O.S.M. Oatmeal, Pancakes or Waffles for the best breakfast in the west!