Honey and “Standard of Identity”

Honey and “Standard of Identity”

The term “standard of identity” is used in the food industry where mandatory requirements are set by a governing body that determines what a food product must contain to be marketed under a certain name. The segment establishes and holds members to live up to rules which govern all standards related to authenticity and the product produced.

What does "Standard of Identity" mean?

As I researched standard of identity in the honey industry I saw the lines blur between such organizations as the National Honey Board and FDA. According to the Board, “In 2006 several honey industry organizations petitioned the FDA to establish a U.S. Standard of Identity for honey.

Raw beeswax out of the hive dripping with honey photo by Kirsten Elstner

In 2011 the FDA denied the petition. FDA noted that Webster’s New World College dictionary defined honey as ‘a thick, sweet, syrupy substance that bees make as food from the nectar of flowers and store in honeycombs,’ and concluded that this definition accurately reflects the common usage of the term ‘honey.’

If you follow me on twitter or google plus, you’ve noticed my recent obsession with “standard of identity” in the milk industry. What a mess. “Big Dairy” is lobbying FDA to put aspartame in your kids’ milk without labeling the package. It’s seriously bad news to ingest anything with aspartame. People get addicted to the stuff, it’s like nicotine only it makes you fat. Aspartame is bad news. Read more about how I feel about false sweeteners.

Keeping it Real

According to Webster’s Dictionary, standards of identity for food are the mandatory, federally set requirements that determine what a food product must contain to be marketed under a certain name in interstate commerce. Mandatory standards (which differ from voluntary grades and standards applied to agricultural commodities) protect the consumer by ensuring a label accurately reflects what is inside (for example, that mayonnaise is not an imitation spread, or that ice cream is not a similar, but different, frozen dessert).

Bee foraging and pollinating russian sage

Since 2007, various industry groups or individuals have worked to establish a standard of identity at the state level. Several states have adopted a standard. Florida was the first, followed by California and others since. However, the language is not always the same and some believe this could cause problems.”

Live up to a standard of identity, even if the government won’t

I’m old fashioned. I like to grow my own food when I can. I like to go to the butcher when I want fresh meat especially of the organic variety. If I can’t grow it, I buy organic whenever I can.

Buy real chocolate. Eat real honey. Grow your own real food, from real seeds. This may sound like living in the past. In reality, it may be what promotes your ability to live well into the future.

bee inspired ad with registered trademark and Bee Inspired honey jars in a row

Want to read more?
The Future of Chocolate
Counterfeit Foods Rob Americans
On Frankenfish