The other day I saw an article by someone who was storing large amounts of peanut butter, jam and honey. From the sound of the article they were buying all of it at their local grocery store. Now honey is a great item to have in your storage. It is high in calories, good for you and if correctly stored will last almost forever. In its unrefined state, it contains its natural vitamins, minerals, beneficial enzymes, and potent phytonutrients (nutrients naturally found in plants).
There are only a couple of things you need to know to store it for many years. The first is don’t store honey in metal cans. It will turn black and develop a metallic taste over time. I was at someone’s home a few days ago when they had to throw a five-gallon can of honey out. It had been stored in a metal can for over twenty years. The taste was so bad you could not eat it. Store your’s in glass or plastic containers.
The second is that if the honey crystallizes it is still good. It can be eaten in the crystallized form or heated at a low temperature until it returns to a liquid. The reason you keep the temperature low is to protect the nutrients.
The third thing is to avoid imitation honey. When you go to buy it read the label. All of the ingredients should be listed on the container. If the honey is not pure, it should be on the label, including the percentage of real honey. Imitation honey is becoming common in the grocery stores. They put it in the same section as the real honey. According to the Food Safety News, more than three fourths of the honey sold in the United States has been altered in some fashioned. Often it is finely filter to get the pollen out and sometimes watered down.
The Food Safety News had test ran on honey from various sources and found the following.
- 76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed, These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.
- 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
- 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
- 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
- Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.
Once the honey is filtered it is impossible to tell where it came from. Large amounts of honey are being imported from India and China. Chinese honey was found to often be contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics which are dangerous, even fatal, to a very small percentage of the population.
To get the best honey, find a local beekeeper that sells unfiltered honey.
NOTE: Because of the risk of botulism, never give honey to an infant until after they are at least one year of age. The systems of infants are not yet developed and are susceptible to botulism from honey.
7 thoughts on “Honey a Great Food for Long Term Storage”
I have a question about storing in plastic, I have a few gallons of honey but it’s in plastic containers. I stopped getting any more as #1 I’d like to find a local suppler #2 My concern for long term storage in plastic. Is my plastic concern real or am I just over thinking it?
Don’t do it. Once it crystallizes it is tough to get it out of the container. Store it in a glass jar, filled to the top to reduce air.
I will put a few layers of Saran Wrap between the jar and the lid to create a seal. If you have to heat it, you can place the glass jar in warm water and liquefy it with mild heat. I would prefer a plastic lid to a metal lid, as metal can rot out over time.
I can certainly understand the anger it would generate to buy an imitation or fake honey. But when you store honey you are simply storing a sweetener: sugar. I prefer to store the real thing; sugar. it is cheaper and stores better than honey. So if you buy fake honey it still works you simply paid too much and should have bought and stored simple white sugar.
There are medicinal uses for honey as well, and as stated above there are some nutrients in honey that don’t exist in sugar. Not enough to make a balanced diet, but if you are digging into emergency food any amount is worth something.
Most of the medical uses of honey from Biblical times relate to the fact it contains a very small amount of peroxide and that very few germs will grow in sugar.. I like honey, but if there is any money issue. You will get far better protection, much cheaper, from sugar, multivitamins and either a bottle of peroxide or a good topical antibiotic.
The medicinal use is the same for all sugars. Bacteria and other bad things (usually) cannot grow in anything that has a high percent of sugar.
The nutrients in honey are slim. The point is sugar costs about $.60 a lb and honey costs $7-10 a lb. I like honey, I’ll eat it by the spoonful. It gives mustard a interesting flavoring. But I rarely buy it simply because of the cost.
I go through tons of honey becuase this makes the best salad dressing on the earth:
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup honey
⅓ cup Chinese rice vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons quality toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt