22 March 2019
"Yucks, I can't believe this, it's so creepy!"
"Terrible, who eats this stuff!"
"So traumatizing, I am baffled, speechless!"
Controversies sparked when a Japanese tweeted (@yusai00) and raved about his purchase from a local honey producer in Oita Prefecture, Japan - a mini jar of golden honey that comes with an exotic souvenir, a suspended giant hornet.
The story was told that honeybees and the Japanese giant hornet are the David and Goliath of nature. Hornets are the nemesis of honeybees; just a few aggressive hornets can destroy a hive of thousands of bees. However, it has also been studied by the researchers at the University of Tokyo that when honeybees swarm around a single hornet, beat their wings furiously, the heat created is enough to cook the hornet alive. This is known as the "hot defensive heat ball" - the result of the honeybees' special ability to precisely control the temperature such that the hornet dies, and they stay alive.
While this disturbing, hair-raising bug-infused honey might have caused most of you to jump out of your skin, the point of difference for the producer lies in the product's health benefits. It is claimed that by drowning the hornet alive, natural toxic substances and pheromones are expelled out of the hornet's body and the honey becomes a wholesome and delicious tonic when the hornet's extracts are soaked in it overtime. (Just describing how the hornet's essence is extracted is enough to give me the creeps.) Nevertheless, the Japanese's tweet has also garnered loads of positive comments that highly contrasted with the critics' labels of "cruel", "grotesque" and the like, and these include:
"an ancient medicinal formula for curing summer bloated stomach and stress"
"great for strep throat"
"this nourishes and makes the skin beautiful"
"it looks so beautiful like a rose"
"a decorative piece of art"
Watch this YouTube video - another Japanese guy teaching how one could prepare this hornet honey from home. (Warning: Viewer Discretion Advised. It's all in Japanese, but don't watch if you feel it's going to upset you.)
These 150-gram jars of bug-enhanced sweetener are now for sale at online store Rakuten for 1260 Yen or 11.37 USD. (See image above for a screenshot of the listing. You could never dream of seeing these food oddities in EU or US retail portals). Interestingly, the manufacturer claims that "the hornets are captured at the risk of their beekeepers' lives while trying to encroach on the honeybees' territory." They are placed alive into the jars which are then sealed up. It was even recommended that once all the honey has been consumed, Shochu, a Japanese traditional hard liquor, could be poured into the jar to preserve the bug!
News Source: @yusai00 Tweet
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