I'm new to all of this and am trying to learn fast :) I've recently read about the health benefits of Raw Organic Honey and started using it as a sweetener. However I don't see mention of it in the Kind Diet book. Is it permissable on the diet? If not, why, does anyone know? Thanks so much for your input!
I'm actually really interested in keeping my own hive. Curious about the negative effects of this on natural honey bee population. Or other concerns I'm not aware of? I would think it would be great for the local area to have a population and my garden's pollination.
Hi Deniece! Personally, I use honey. However, I know the man who personally collects the honey, tends his two beehives and it comes from within miles of my house...for me that's saying a lot more than any stevia or agave i've found can. This is where I break with strict veganism and the superhero ways because I want to support local, small growers, and I honestly feel better eating small amounts of honey than I do anything else. I'm listening to my body on this one! A sidenote, though: even though I'll have honey, it's pretty rare. I definitely don't have it everyday and I usually end up going much longer than weeks on end without it. Again, in my eyes, it's making what works for you, well, work.
I have heard that raw organic honey is nutritious as well, and it probably is, but your body absorbs it pretty quickly and it can give you quite the sugar rush, and it is an animal product. In the end it's your decision, but if you are simply considering raw honey for the nutritional value, then you can put your worries to rest, because tons of other things in the vegan diet will give you great nutrients! Maple syrup is good for you (consumed in small quantities, of course), miso, pickles, saurkraut, sea veggies... If you are looking for a sweetener, all the sweeteners taste different. You should be able to find one you like. For tea or other sweet beverages like hot chocolate, I like to use agave nectar. Same thing for baking. I'm learning to bake and cook with brown rice syrup, and I must say, I like it quite a lot! Maple syrup is just pure goodness :), but I'd say agave nectar is closest in taste to honey. Again, they're all unique, but don't worry about "missing out" on raw honey nutrients. You can find those elsewhere :).
I use honey-- but I also try to buy from local beekeepers or else from a company I know over here that invests a lot of money back into research and protection of bees. Honey is actually absorbed quite slowly as far as sugars go-- nothing like white sugar, and has a lot of health benefits (especially as a flu remedy). But I certainly don't use it everyday. My favourite sweetener is maple syrup. But there are no maple trees over here (in UK) so it has to travel a very very long way. It also takes between 20 and 50 litres of maple sap to boild down into one litre of maple syrup. It still has a heavy impact on the environment and uses a lot of oil in the process. When you consider how many animals are harmed by the oil companies, the impact made on the local habitat of the forest animals by tapping all of those trees with plastic tubes and the effect it's having on biodiversity, does that really make it a kinder option than honey from a local ethical beekeeper?
I do love agave syrup, but again, it has to be imported from half-way around the world, and a lot of professionals are now saying it isn't safe for pregnant women (some sort of link to miscarriage).
I guess what I'm saying is, it's not so simple to say one sweetener is better than another. Different companies have different practices, and none of these foods are really meant to be used on a mass scale.
There is a great documentary called The Vanishing of the Bees. I highly recommend it. It illustrates the difference between commercial honey (especially in the USA) and one amazing local biodynamic farmer who still honours biodiversity in his garden.