Is it true that any honey is good, as long as it is real?
As with all products, most consumers do realise that quality of honey varies from brand to brand. And price is not a guarantee of quality; not all cheap honey is bad and not all expensive honey is real. The honey industry (and the consumer) face an issue - with no adequate laboratory testing and certification, honey is affordable but consumers are not assured of its quality and contents. Honey is far from being a proprietary product, so don't expect your physicians to be advocates for honey or to discuss its curative powers. There are no vested interests for them to do so. It's healing benefits are not secrets that people can sell them at a high price. It is easily available, and you can even get it free by keeping bees.
However, with certification by the test institutes and even licensing and accreditation to assure consumers, such as Manuka's Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), honey can become so costly and exclusive that only a handful of consumers have the means to reach it. Manuka, an highly sought after honey floral variety despite its big price tag, draws an exceptionally great deal of attention from consumers because of the extensive research and marketing efforts. Many fraudulent manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon to take advantage of consumers' lack of understanding of the UMF labels and blatantly claimed Activity levels on their honey without any laboratory tests or certification of its contents. Many consumers erroneously believe that every bottle with the label "Active Manuka" has the same measureable health benefits of UMF. Apitherapy News reported in its August 2013 publication that reputable British, Chinese and Singaporean laboratories discovered that of the 73 samples of honey sold, 41 failed to show the non-peroxide activity claimed for Manuka honey.
I believe in eating the best of what you can find and afford. There are people who tell me this right in the face when they discovered I'm a honey enthusiast: "Sorry, I don't eat honey because I can't afford it." And what can I say? I believe you would agree with me that it is a totally valid reasoning. (That is why so many countries which are not as affluent use honey only as a medicine and consuming it for pleasure or using it as a health supplement for better body immunity are just not part of their culture.) There is a also a group of honey suppliers who is trying to sell me certified honey that is "fit for the kings and minsters" and of course at an exorbitant price (which I shall not disclose here because it's going to sound like extortions for most people.) Well, I can't comment too much on this because I am not of that royal league. And what is price when the worth of honey cannot be appreciated? Why care so much about what some beekeepers are charging for their honey. Honey is too precious to be wasted on any, rich or poor, who can't see its value. So, your choice of honey really depends on a combination of factors such as price, affordability, accessibility to beekeepers and trusted commercial brands, how much you believe in the health and healing benefits of honey, and how far you are willing to go in pursuing good sugar and getting to the bottom of the source and quality of the honey.
At the end of the day, my opinion is, even if raw honey is unavailable, commercial honey can still be many times more superior than refined table sugar, high fructose corn syrup and any artificial sugar. I'm not against buying cheap honey, but I would say think twice and double check, because it's all too easy to find fake or adulterated honey sold at the price of rare floral varietals such as Corsican honey, but just impossible to get quality pure honey at the same low price as corn syrup.
1) Ever heard that honey is an intelligent food? Read more in: Honey - More Than a Good Sugar.
2) Honey can fuel your liver when you sleep at night: Honey Diet for Hibernation.
3) Honey isn't just sugar. Full account in: Honey Isn't Just Sugar!
4) Honey does not cure cancer. More in:Honey is Anti-cancer!