Back in February, I posted a review of 3 different types of honey available at Trader Joe’s. I got a lot of feedback from people wanting to know if these honeys were raw or if Trader Joe’s sells raw honey. I decided I want to address this question in a new post. So here were are today asking the question – Does Trader Joe’s Sell Raw Honey? And just for kicks, what about organic honey?
Does Trader Joe’s Sell Raw Honey?
The 3 varieties that are reviewed – the Desert Mesquite, Mostly Mesquite, and Turkish honey – do not say anything about being raw on the label. Their producers do not consider them to be raw honey. If they were that would certainly be mentioned, as the word “raw” on a bottle of honey is a selling point, no one would miss out on (you would think). These aren’t the only honeys they sell.
Raw Honey Available at Trader Joe’s
My Trader Joe’s (Ann Arbor, Michigan) sold 3 different jars of honey that were labeled “raw”. These are TJ’s Organic Wild Collected Raw Honey, TJ’s Organic Raw Honey, and Michigan Bee Company Pure Raw Honey. I imagine the Michigan honey is only sold in stores in Michigan. Maybe other states have other raw honey options (leave a comment below if your location has one).
What is Raw Honey?
There is no federally regulated definition of the term, “raw honey”. So there is no official standard. What is generally considered raw honey by people in the industry is honey that has not been heated. A lot of honey I find on the market labeled as “raw honey” is thicker honey that doesn’t flow out of the jar. But I have also seen honeys labeled “raw” that did flow out of the jar. To get the bottom line of what raw means, you need to read the label further or contact the producer to see how they handle honey and what their view of raw is.
What is Organic Honey
For honey to be labeled as organic it must be certified by certifying agency (Oregon Tilth is one). The weird thing is that there is no government standards for what is considered to be organic honey. If they are certified by agency that are use the word “organic”. The agency has to come up with their standards, which they usually use the same standards as for livestock. So even thought there are no official standards by the government, honey can still get the official USDA organic label. Here is a list of things agencies look for when they are determining whether a honey is organic or not.
1) Forage: What the bees eat and drink
2) Where they live and what they live in and on.
3) What the beekeeper feeds them
4) How the beekeeper treats them for parasites
5) How the beekeeper processes the honey they produce
6) How the beekeeper labels that honey
7) How the beekeeper keeps records