I've been seeing a lot of organic honey in stores and on restaurant menus. Can you tell me how it's made?
—Show Me the Honey
Most honey that's labeled organic, including all domestic honey, is not certified organic. That's because the USDA doesn't even have a definition of what honey is, much less rules or inspectors for certifying it as organic.
While a lot of honey on the market is cut with other sweeteners and additives, to date only the state of Florida has a codified definition of honey, which dictates that it must be completely pure and unadulterated. But even Florida beekeepers can't stop their bees from patrolling a two- to three-mile radius, which could include stops in fields that have been treated with chemicals.
Honey from faraway lands where chemicals are sparsely used may in some cases truly qualify as organic. Indeed, there are several non-U.S. honey certifiers, each with their own standards and enforcement. So the question becomes: Who's certifying the certifiers?