National honey month
September 19th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

September is National Honey Month.

Fun fact: to make one pound of honey, a honeybee needs to tap 2 million flowers. No wonder they’re called worker bees.

Honey has been around since before the dawn of humanity, but we’ve been relying on it to sweeten our food and drink since we caught on. Some of the earliest references to honey can be found in paintings on cave walls in Spain and Greece.

It’s often said that with honey our civilization would grind to a halt, and while that scenario is likely a ways off, let’s look at the consequences. According to the National Honey Board, without honeybees, there’d be no almonds. Almonds depend 100% on honeybee pollination. Apples, avocados, blueberries, cherries, cranberries and sunflowers are 90% dependent on honeybees too. Not to mention, most fruits and vegetables are pollinated this way.

But enough with this end of the world stuff.

Honey has about the same fructose and glucose as sugar, which means it’s just as sweet, but not refined. Also, unlike cane sugar, which tastes the same no matter where you got it from, honey can taste different based on the flower and the insect. So honey from an avocado flower will taste completely different from orange blossom honey.

The United States Department of Agriculture grades honey into three categories, and no water can be added to honey if it is labeled as such. According to the USDA, honey must be “a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance...this includes, but is not limited to, water or other sweeteners."

The USDA also cautions that because of their less developed digestive systems, children under one should not eat honey because they could contract botulism.

Honey is mostly used in baking and in hot tea as a sweetener, but more adventurous uses include honey beer (even the White House agrees), barbecue sauces and even salad dressings. Because different honeys can taste so different, it’s worth trying out a few exotic ones before settling on the kind found in a bear bottle. And because honey lasts (almost) forever, you don’t need to worry about it sitting in your cupboard and going bad.

Another interesting use of honey, in Jewish tradition, honey and apples are eaten during Rosh Hashanah (which ended yesterday) to usher in the new year.

Read - Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name and more about honey

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Filed under: Bees • Breakfast Buffet • Food Holidays • News

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Honey

    When is some big strong bee going to eat me?

    September 21, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  2. jmugrad 1997

    Please tell me this article was written by a 5th grader? For goodness sake, "bear bottle" and "WITH honey our world would GRIN to a halt", whoever wrote this article should get a new job. Seriously, CNN??

    September 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      I'll give you "grin," but have you never seen the bear-shaped bottles that honey comes in?

      September 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
      • Honey

        In Jmugrad, they call them 'medved'-shaped bottles.

        September 21, 2012 at 9:57 am |
        • Yakov Smirnov

          In Jmugrad, honey eats YOU!

          September 21, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  3. MashaSobaka

    Blackberry honey all the way.

    September 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. lindaluttrell

    And ancients used honey as possibly one of the first anti-bacterial agents...

    September 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Ayatollah ben Dover

      They used to ferment it and make mead to drink, and also set the hives near plants with interesting properties so they honey would give you hallucinations. Some old general won a battle by 'running away' and letting the enemy capture his mead wagon, which was made from 'psychedelic honey.' The next morning his army returned and slaughtered the staggering attackers, who had collapsed into delirium within hours of drinking the stuff. So if one of those little bear-shaped bottles starts talking to you, throw the honey away.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  5. AleeD®@Kat & SLT

    IP blockage anyone?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  6. Amir Ali

    Our affirmation in gutter and whole night in gutter attachment bc gen ashfaq got money from india n whole night RAW agents working n we sleep like "zombies".

    September 20, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Ayatollah ben Dover

      Oobie doobie, Walla Walla Wash and Kalamazoo. Ding whack, paddy whack, give a dog a bone.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  7. Amir Ali

    Somebody attached me and taking heroine since yesterday i got trouble/pausing in speaking of appropriate words i am doing AAN AAN n its prob for me ..

    September 20, 2012 at 6:32 am |
    • Ayatollah ben Dover

      Try the Millennium Hand and Shrimp combo at Pratchett's.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  8. Amir Ali

    In pakiatan ppls using which substance in honey n honey disturb the male bee in matter i said yesterday our helicopter pilot engage before engagement with OKARA

    September 20, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • Honey

      Ali, is your beehive next to an opium field?

      September 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Okra

      Leave me out of this discussion or I'll send a hit squad of salmonella canteloupes after you.

      September 21, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  9. JBHedgehog

    I'd bee a heck of a lot happier if someone had edited this before publishing it!

    September 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • lance corporal

      if your happiness is dependent on online copy editors.......

      September 20, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  10. Suzanne

    Be a good bee & eat your

    September 19, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Honey


      September 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
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