2. Honey And Royal Jelly
The honeybee's greatest usefulness is the pollination of endless numbers of crops. This occurs while the worker bee is engaged in its natural function of gathering nectar from flowers for the production of honey.
The nectar of the flowers is ingested by the worker bees and converted, by the addition of their own secretions, in special sacs in their esophagi, to the sweet, sticky substance we call honey.
This is regurgitated into the cells of the combs in the hives (built of beeswax by specialized worker bees), where it is aged and stored for future use—to feed the larvae and for subsistence in winter.
Bee honey is a complex substance, containing at least 181 known components. (Honey, A Comprehensive Survey, Edited by Eva Crane, MSc. PhD., p. 206)
Bee honey is composed chiefly of the simple sugars fructose (levulose), glucose (dextrose) and water; it also contains some more complex sugars (such as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides), some essential oils, several enzymes, various animal ferments (especially oxydase—oxydizing ferment) and acids. Honey also contains insignificant amounts of protein (amino acids and other protein constituents), vitamins and minerals.
Glucose crystallizes out of honey on standing at room temperature, leaving an uncrystallized layer of dissolved fructose. The fructose layer in crystallized honey ferments readily at temperatures of sixty degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Fermented honey is used in the production of honey wine or mead.
Honey to be marketed is usually heated by special processes to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit to dissolve the crystals, and is then poured into containers sealed against crystallization.
Bee honey is highly concentrated and stimulating, and is needed by the bees as fuel for their highly stressful and brief lives. Honey is an excellent natural normal substance for bees. Those who rob the bees to divert its use to humans are supplying an unnecessary and harmful substance. The popular belief that honey is a perfectly safe sweet for general and habitual use is a delusion.
Honey contains many acids which are injurious to humans. The sugar in honey is no less dangerous than any other sugars, refined or otherwise. The manite acid in honey renders its combinations with other foods even more injurious than ordinary cane sugar. (Dr. Shelton, The Hygienic System, Volume II, p. 168)
Honey is harmful to the digestion, the teeth and the nervous system. Honey, which is intended as a stimulant for bees, is also highly stimulating (and damaging) to humans.
The use of honey also causes an excess secretion of mucus. People with gastric or intestinal ulcers, or catarrhal conditions, should never use honey—neither should nervous and sensitive people succumb to its gustatory appeal—but they may have to learn the hard way.
The Hartbargers (Eating for the Eighties, p. 164) say that honey should not be fed to children. They say, "Many babies have trouble digesting honey and it has been shown to be a cause of botulism in infants. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta recommends that honey not be given to infants one year old or younger."
Extravagant claims have been made for honey as a miracle cure. Various experiments have indicated antibiotic properties, which would, of course, also destroy friendly bacteria (such as those which aid in the digestion of food, as well as those which aid in the synthesization of Vitamin B-12).
These experiments and others for the treatment of burns and wounds, respiratory infections, digestive diseases, and malfunctions of the heart, are recounted in Honey, A Comprehensive Survey, pp. 260-263, concluding, "In general, the use of honey is less likely to harm a patient than most other preparations, and on many occasions it has proved beneficial." This might be termed "damning it with faint praise," and is from the chapter on "The Biological Properties of Honey," written by a group of authors.
The actual nutritional value of honey is minimal, especially when compared to its potential for harm. Honey is poor in mineral elements and in vitamins. It has, about the same composition of minerals as white sugar, and is almost as devitalizing.
The clarifying process to make honey less cloudy removes thirty-five to fifty percent of the original vitamin content. More vitamins and minerals are lost by evaporation when the honey comes in contact with oxygen. Honey contains only insignificant (trace) amounts of iron, and not enough B vitamins for its own metabolism, and, when consumed by humans, robs the body of B vitamins and alkaline minerals.
At one point in Honey, A Comprehensive Survey, it is said that "all the knowledge and scientific research in this book endorses the 'goodness' of honey as a food for man." The book contains 608 pages and sells for $52.50. Yet all that is really said in favor of honey as a food for humans has to do with its palatability, and the opinion that it is more "easily digested" and more natural than carbohydrates like, for example, sucrose. While stating that honey has valuable nutrients, it is admitted, perforce, that the amounts are so minute as to be insignificant, and concludes, "This need not surprise us, for honey is primarily a food for bees, not man."
These quotations are from the discussion of the "Nutritive Value of Honey," in the chapter on the "Biological Properties of Honey," written by a group of authors (pp. 265-266).
Dr. Jonathan M. White, Jr., on page 199 of the chapter on the "Composition of Honey," also says that "the levels of various vitamins are so low that they have no real nutritional significance."
2.1 Identity of the Acids in Honey
Much of the knowledge of honey acids has been obtained since the early 1950s. Formic acid was once thought to be the acid of honey, and it was thought that the last action of the bees in ripening honey was to add formic acid to preserve the honey.
It is now known that gluconic acid is present in honey in much greater amounts than all other acids; it is produced by the action of an enzyme in honey upon the dextrose in it. Except for gluconic acid, the sources of the various honey acids are not known. Many of them may already be present in the nectar.
Analysts seeking to measure the total amounts of the various acids in honey have encountered difficulties, leading to uncertainties or errors in the measurements. Consequently, information as to these proportions is not available.
Since I heard Dr. Alec Burton refer to some twenty or so acids in honey, many of which are harmful to humans, I have wondered which ones they are, and decided to research the subject and pass the information on to others who may desire it.
The following acids have been positively identified in honey:
The following acids have been identified in honey without rigorous proof of their identity, and it is considered that they are probably present:
(from Honey, A Comprehensive Survey, Chapter Five; "Composition of Honey," by Dr. Jonathan M. White, Jr., pp. 169-170)
Dr. Shelton also refers to manite acid in honey. (The Hygienic System, Volume II, p. 168)
"Honey is not tested for pesticide residue levels, and no tolerance level has been established for pesticides in honey. Neither has there been a tolerance set for the many residual antibiotics which remain in honey, after bees are drugged, to enable them to function after they've been fed waste candy products (which incorporate dyes, colorings and other chemicals) to compensate for man's plundering of their hives." (Ida Honoroff, Dr. Shelton's Hygienic Review, March 1980)
Ida Honoroff also recounts an interview with Colonel Clair, president of Hawaii Bee Keepers Association, on radio station KPFP-FM in Southern California. Colonel Clair stated that all honey contains pesticide residues— "There'd be no way to avoid that from nectar collected from plants which have been sprayed by pesticides."
Of course, as explained in Lesson 32 ("Why We Should Not Eat Meat"), the pesticides are more concentrated in the honey than in the plants.
Colonel Clair feels that genetic failure among bees is the most dangerous threat of the modern practice of feeding them sugar and drugs, and various other practices, such as artificial insemination. The result is diseased bees, diseased honeycomb and diseased honey.
We don't need honey, but we do need the honeybees for pollination of our crops. Another impending disaster?
Most people should avoid concentrated sweets altogether, but dates, figs, raisins, dried bananas, etc., are much better adapted to human nutrition than a product manufactured by bees for their own use.
Dr. Alec Burton emphasizes the inadvisability of the use of honey. He related an experience he had with a terminal cancer patient, whom he had kept alive for a lengthy period by the use of a program of all-raw foods. The man was doing very well and was able to function and do some work. However, his weight was on the low side. His well-meaning relatives and friends, noting his too-slender appearance, urged him to take some high-caloried honey, to increase his weight. He ate the honey—and died.
"Now," Dr. Burton said, "I am not saying that honey causes cancer." He explained that this is simply an illustration of the fact that cancer patients can frequently be kept alive for long periods on a totally raw-food plant diet, and that no deviations can be tolerated. Honey, especially, with its many harmful acids, can be disastrous to such a patient.
Honey is not recommended for anyone's use. Its value is delusion, and its potential for harm is indisputable. Dr. Shelton does not recommend its use, but says that its vast potential for harm would be among those who are engaged in active outdoor work. Even for such people, it is almost impossible to find a food with which it can be favorably combined. If taken with fruits or grains, honey will cause fermentation. Honey also causes decomposition of protein foods, and the honey itself ferments from being held in the stomach long enough for the digestion of the protein. The least harmful combination, according to Dr. Shelton, is toasted bread. But he reiterates his warning against its use with any food.
Your best course would be to eliminate honey from your food program altogether—you don't need it as a sweetener if you are eating simple Hygienic foods. If you occasionally prepare a recipe that does require a sweetener, dates would serve a better purpose.
Dr. Vetrano says that the occasional use of honey will not do great harm—but it should not be used as part of the regular diet.
2.2 Royal Jelly
Royal Jelly is a highly nutritious (for bees) secretion of the pharyngeal glands of the honeybee, which is fed to the very young larvae in a colony, and to all queen larvae.
Obviously, this substance is subject to the same objections as those against honey. Royal Jelly is sold at high prices in health food stores as a "miraculous" and "nutritious" food for humans. Don't use it!
Home > Lesson 33 - Why We Should Not Eat Animal Products In Any Form
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