I met Australia's John Smith, the beekeeper online. Much to my envy, he eats fresh honey direct from his hives and contracts guys from New Zealand to farm Manuka Honey for his health foods shop. I know nuts about beekeeping, but there is something John and I have in common - the love for honey and the deep belief that honey is extraordinary and must be differentiated from all other sugars. I've encountered hundreds of beekeepers virtually, especially in social networking sites like Facebook, but I have not known one who is more vocal, more persistent, and more resolute in getting the world to know the precious benefits of the golden liquid than John. He buzzes!
With the following extracts, which John agrees to publish, I hope the thoughts and sentiments about honey from this special beekeeper can be shared with as many people in the web as possible.
I have been attending several Farmer's Markets, Beekeeper Field Days, and other People's Markets quite rigorously here of late, and am glad to report that there is a big swing in the minds of people I talk to about honey, natural foods and self help with illnesses.
This www is doing wonders for getting information from one honest individual to another honest individual, making it doubly hard for news media editors to keep the flow of information regulated. People are getting the message. They are learning to read more labels, ask more questions, be suspicious and look for the Hook in the beautiful bait.
It is also good to see official journalists writing for big time websites starting to soften their judgement of all things natural. The demand from the public in turning into a roar, and they have little choice but to come into line with public opinion.
Honey is selling well, continues to be excellent value for money, and people seem to be delighted when they find they can buy it direct from the beekeeper. I have been surprised several times of late when customers volunteer information about how suspicious they are of our big food processors, people who declare they 'don't do supermarkets' and those who are now willing to discuss honey's healing and nurturing properties.
Honey boasted only something like one percent of the sweeteners market the last few decades, so it doesn't take much of a swing back to natural sweeteners to double the previous demand. I wonder how we producers could even satisfy that increase, much less a ten percent increase, which, ironically, would still not be a big slice of the market.
My own experience with honey of late has been very positive, as I have made it a point to consider honey as the first remedy to reach for whatever the malady or distress. One person I discussed this with said he was going home to wrap his painful knee with a honey soaked bandage (complete with a plastic wrap moisture proof layer) just to observe how it affected the painful joint. I will be keen to hear his report, and promise to follow up on that with you guys too.
Natural honey continues to be one of the biosphere's finest offerings. It is the product of flowers and bees, two remarkable collections of the life forces so radiantly displayed in our world, yet so easily ignored and taken for granted. Good health at low cost is possible too for those who are determined to pursue such an objective. Honey figures strongly in such a program, along with basic foods, positive mindset and diligent application.Honey is not only the most ancient and time honoured sweetener/medicine, it is also as safe as they come, more side effect free than most, and is entirely ecologically sustainable. Beekeeping has a very soft footprint on our distressed planet, and in fact is entirely beneficial save for the use of modern machines and transport. All the more reason to produce and buy locally.
Get some while you can. It will serve you well in the kitchen, in the medicine chest, in the first aid box, and as I am finding out now, in the market place, as it doubles as a currency, as it is very easy to swap for eggs, milk and carrots! The potential lifespan of honey is probably longer than my own. No one really knows just how long honey can be kept before it loses all of its beneficial characteristics. The bees and other animals seem to lap it up regardless of how much it has been abused or for how long.
It is giving me much joy to be in the marketplace to see these changes taking place. I am proud to be associated with such a wonderful product, especially as it seems to be so perfect for this moment in time when humankind are hooked on bad sugars, sick and dying, feeling depressed and without hope. I see people smile all day long at the market as they share a taste of honey with me. Honey just does that!