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Food For The Gods

In Greek mythology, honey was considered nectar of the gods; today, it has proven to be one of nature’s purest superfoods.

Breakfast Acai Bowl from La Tabla - Purchase the September issue for the full recipe!

Breakfast Acai Bowl from La Tabla - Purchase the September issue for the full recipe!

Go to any grocery store in the United States and you will likely find a plethora of honey options varying in color, viscosity and opacity. The truth is, in this country alone there are over 300 distinct varieties of honey categorized by location and nectar source. How does one choose? Flavor is obviously one criterion but selecting honey for its health benefits may be another.

Jeremy Crews, a second-generation local apiarist and commercial beekeeper, has been extracting and selling nutritionally dense raw honey straight from the comb ever since he took over his father’s business in 2012. Unprocessed raw honey is one of nature’s purest superfoods, containing 5,000 live enzymes, 27 minerals and 22 protein-rich amino acids. 

By contrast, pasteurized honey is heated and processed until it is denatured, removing all the nutritious bee pollen and destroying honey’s essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals. In fact, according to Crews, the honey you find on store shelves is only required by law to contain 51 percent honey for it to be labeled “pure” or “natural.” The rest can be made up of high-fructose corn syrup, which companies are not required to list on the label. “You’re pretty much buying a simple syrup,” says Crews.

Crews came by his love of raw honey honestly. He began helping his dad, a beekeeper and state inspector, when he was 7-years-old. By age 12, he was working the hives and had his own bees. In the beginning, he admits it was more about the money than honey. “I was making about two thousand bucks every couple of months, so I was doing pretty good for a 12-year-old,” he says candidly.