The inception of the first Earth Day is inexorably linked with a time of great political unrest and social upheaval. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest against environmental indifference and rampant pollution. These organized protests ultimately led to political change and the passage of landmark environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and Estuary Protection Act.
Throughout millennia, honey has been used to heal injuries and infections and help improve human and animal health. It can be ingested as a treatment for coughs, allergies and other ailments or it can be applied directly to the skin as balm for healing rashes, burns and cuts. Honey is at its most potent in its natural state, i.e., “raw”, which means that it is not pasteurized. Raw honey has the substantial benefit of being chock full of active vitamins and minerals, powerful antioxidants and beneficial enzymes.
Why not try baking with honey this month? Irish Soda Bread, a traditional favorite around St. Patrick’s Day, lends itself beautifully to the benefits of baking with honey. Plus, because it is easy and quick to make—you can make it on a whim and eat it almost as quickly. A fresh, hot loaf takes only a little over one hour.
Honey is enduring—it never spoils. It essentially lasts forever. Remember the news story touting that ancient honey was found in the Egyptian pyramids and it was still edible? What a wonderful, timeless symbol for a romantic month. If you would like to give your sweetie a homemade gift, try one of these delicious recipes enhanced with honey: chocolate covered strawberries and raspberry truffles. These treats are perfect for gift giving as they require no baking, are fun and easy to make, and will impress your loved ones.
Honey is truly amazing. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals and bacteria-fighting enzymes. Researchers report that honey also contains a variety of polyphenol compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent heart disease and cancer. Honey can actually help keep you healthy!
Honeybees are found all over the world and so are the food dishes that incorporate their sweet honey: Caribbean jerk, Spanish tapas, French sauces, British biscuits and Turkish cakes. Honey is truly a globally recognized and treasured resource that enriches many different cultures through their recipes and cultural traditions. This connection is especially true during the holidays. When considering what to give your loved ones, friends, neighbors or coworkers—think about giving the gift of honey.
What’s the one dessert you have to bake for Thanksgiving? You know, the one you either love to create or the one that everyone asks for each year and if you don’t make it, you’re in trouble? Is it pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cranberry bread, dinner rolls, or apple bars? When pulling out your recipes for the holidays this year, think of replacing white refined sugar with honey instead. Honey is a versatile alternative and easy adaptable to most recipes.
As beekeepers, we were heartened to learn that federal law now protects seven species of bees from Hawaii. Amazingly, this is the first time in history that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has added an insect to the endangered species list.
With so much in our modern lives that is constantly changing, isn’t it nice to know that some things will always remain the same? You can rely 100% on the fact that your honey will be, well…always honey. That’s right, honey never spoils, goes bad or expires. If you had a jar of honey for drizzling on your cornflakes when you were five, you could still be using that same honey for sweetening your tea when turn 100 years old. Except, that’s impossible for you surely would have eaten up its sweet goodness way before then.
You may have read that bees are responsible for one in every three mouthfuls of food you eat. While that statistic is perhaps exaggerated, the importance of bees to ensuring our agricultural bounty cannot be overstated. The US government projects that honeybees contribute about $15 billon dollars annually to America’s food supply. For those crops that do not completely depend upon honey bee pollination, honeybees can still have an impact by boosting crop yield and improving the harvest quality (i.e., shape and size of the fruit, vegetable or seed).