Think of the word “raw” and you might associate it with uncooked vegetables or meat, unheated to preserve all the natural vitamins, living enzymes and other nutritional elements contained within. Likewise, honey is created naturally in a raw form, but not all honey sold in supermarkets is raw.
At the Westchase District Farmers Market, several vendors sell raw honey. Chris Kohnke, owner of Pure Texas Honey, explained that commercial honey is often cooked, pasteurized and microfiltered so it looks more appealing on store shelves. “When honey is heated, the enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body are partially destroyed. It’s just not as nutritious,” he said. “I even encourage customers to wait until their tea has cooled a bit before adding honey to it.”
Organic, Varietal and Wildflower
Kohnke said the term “organic honey” doesn’t mean anything because there are no standards for USDA organic honey. What customers should pay more attention to whether a honey is varietal, meaning the bees get their nectar from primarily one type of plant species, or wildflower, meaning the bees get their nectar from several sources. Elvis D’Agrella, owner of PEAS Farm in Conroe, sells honey derived from the nectar in Chinese tallow, as well as from wildflowers, strawberries and other citrus fruits grown on his farm. Albane Cannaferina of Apollo Farms in Livingston sells honey made by bees feasting mostly on blackberry plants. The next time you’re at the market, stop and chat with each of our honey vendors to see which honey you might like to try next.