We came across this article this week "Asian Honey: Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves" and thought we would share it with you as many of us may be unwittingly consuming these contaminated products.
The article states that honey (and bee pollen) coming from India and China was contaminated with heavy metals and antibiotics. Honey from India was now banned in Europe, thus diverting its supply to North America where no ban is in place.
"Food safety investigators from the European Union barred all shipments of honey from India because of the presence of lead and illegal animal antibiotics. Further, they found an even larger amount of honey apparently had been concocted without the help of bees, made from artificial sweeteners and then extensively filtered to remove any proof of contaminants or adulteration or indications of precisely where the honey actually originated.
An examination of international and government shipping tallies, customs documents and interviews with some of North America’s top honey importers and brokers documented the rampant honey laundering and that a record amount of the Chinese honey was being purchased by major U.S. packers."
We all know by now that many products coming from Asia are contaminated and it makes sense that we try and avoid these products, unfortunately many of the pollen containing products on the market do not state the source of their raw materials. Just because a product is "Made in Canada" or "Made in the USA" does NOT mean that the raw materials originated in those countries, it just means that's where the product was put together.
This is why at our Centre we have strict policies on what is sold in our dispensary. Our honey for instance, comes from Carlisle, Ontario, straight from the farm where it is collected and bottled. Our bee pollen comes from the same farm too, they are both raw, unprocessed and free of contaminants. The farm itself is a small family business that was started in 1981 and has been passed on through generations with about 750,000,000 hardworking bees on staff.
We are proud to support small family businesses like ours, especially when we can reduce our ecological footprint by reducing the distance our products need to travel.
Our goal is to teach our patients and clients to ask questions, read labels, be smart consumers!
Buying local isn't just about supporting the local economy or being patriotic, its about food safety and confidence in your food supply too!
Food has lost a great deal of its value in our society; genetically modified, pesticide laden, adulterated with preservatives, food coloring and artificial flavors, then packaged and shipped over hundreds of miles over several days…all the while losing much of its nutritional value and picking up harmful toxic chemicals in the process. There are however, at least two things we can do to limit our consumption of these foods – eating locally and eating seasonally.
Eating seasonally means eating the foods that grow in the present season. So eating seasonally also ideally means eating locally – eating foods grown as close to you as possible, whether grown in your own backyard, a local community plot, or bought at your local farmer’s market. There are many benefits to eating locally. Because local foods travel shorter distances, they are fresher and therefore contain more nutrients and are richer in flavour. And with shorter distances to travel and the conservation of green spaces for farm land, local food leaves less of a carbon footprint. Eating locally also supports local economy by supporting local farmers. Increased food safety is also another benefit. A shorter distance between your food's source and your plate, and knowing where your food comes from and who grows it, all decrease the chances of contamination.
Eating with the seasons means more variety in your diet, as well. Not only does a varied diet make for more interesting and creative meals, but it also increases the range of nutrients you receive from your diet. And finally, seasonal foods naturally cater to the needs of your body with the change of seasons, while promoting the function of different organs. For example, in the winter, many root and hardier vegetables that were harvested in the late fall must be cooked to be eaten, which is perfect for keeping you warm in the cold months. While in the spring, vegetables like dandelion greens are in season. These bitter greens stimulate the liver and kidneys, helping to promote detoxification – a process to be undertaken ideally in the gentle spring weather as the temperature begins to rise.
With so many benefits for you and your community, why not challenge yourself to eat seasonally and eat locally this year? To help you get started, here is a list of foods you’ll find in season this spring!
Sensational Spring Produce available in Southern Ontario:
Check out our next blog post for a spring-inspired recipie! Fresh Dandelion Greens with Roasted Squash and Toasted Hazelnuts
Article Written By Dr.Vanessa Youssef, ND Our new addition to Hillcrest Centre for Health - St Clair West!
1 small acorn or butternut squash
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed, dried and torn
1 cup unsalted, raw hazelnuts
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon coconut oil, divided
3 tablespoons liquid honey, divided
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon plus one pinch cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon plus one pinch paprika, divided
1 teaspoon plush one pinch chili powder, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F. Rinse and dry squash and cut in half lengthwise.
Scrape out seeds (transfer these to a bowl and reserve for later) and cut each half into wedges. Arrange on a parchment paper– lined baking sheet. Dot each wedge with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil divided and season with 1 teaspoon of each spice, and salt and pepper, then drizzle 2 tablespoons honey over wedges.
Next, remove any pieces of squash from the reserved seeds and dry with paper towel. Toss with the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil, pinch of cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Spread seeds on a second baking sheet.
Transfer both the squash and the seeds to the oven. Roast the seeds for 5-10 mins, or until crisp and golden. Roast the squash for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and their skins begin to crack (about 10 minutes). Allow to cool slightly before chopping them coarsely and setting aside.
In a small bowl, combine remaining honey with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and mix until honey dissolves.
To assemble salad, toss dandelion greens with dressing in a large bowl. Divide among 6 small plates, arranging one or two squash wedges atop the greens. Sprinkle with squash seeds and hazelnuts. Enjoy!
Modified from Bonny Reichert’s recipe found here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/recipes/fresh-dandelion-greens-with-roasted-squash-and-cracked-hazelnuts/article6818634/
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