By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Minh T Truong
By Molly Dunn
By Brooke Viggiano
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Molly Dunn
By Molly Dunn
By Eating Our Words
Bryant says that no one can determine where a sample of honey came from or even what was used to make it if the pollen has been removed.
"People can say anything they want," Bryant says. "If you went into a liquor store and wanted to buy a really good-quality Bordeaux, don't you think you ought to get what you paid for?"
To some people, honey is just a sweet condiment they like to spread on biscuits, use when baking or add to their tea, but to others, honey is more than that; they care about its origin and will pay extra for their favorite flavor. But what if that special flavor of honey is not really where its label says it is from? What if it's cheaper honey?
Bryant has visited a number of health-food stores and supermarkets and found that the origin claimed on some bottles is not where the honey truly came from, which means the consumer pays more for something that is not what is advertised.
Honey provides excellent health and nutritional benefits, but pollen needs to be present. The quality of health benefits depends on the plant of origin; each plant provides different benefits. The propolis, a mixture of resins and materials that protects the beehive against intruders, has been shown to help prevent cancer. Honey helps maintain blood sugar and insulin sensitivity and increases immunity, and, more specifically, buckwheat honey has the ability to reduce coughs in children above the age of two.
Even though honey has many healthy benefits, it is useless without pollen. Unfortunately, you can't tell just by looking at a bottle if the honey contains pollen, and even if it does, you can't determine where it came from just by looking at the bottle, Bryant says.
The FDA doesn't have a procedure for inspecting honey for pollen. There is no law in the United States that says honey must be labeled to indicate its true origin.
"It's my understanding that what Customs does is that they do not test the honey for pollen," Bryant says. "They are more concerned with where the shipments came from."
Bryant explains that to a degree that is okay, but it isn't a strict enough inspection for honey. Importers can simply put any label they want on a jar of honey, and as long as it came from a legal source, it can be sold in the States.
Because there is no law or procedure in place for determining the source of honey that's sold in this country, many are proposing a Senate bill that would create a standard for analyzing honey's origins.
Not only does the removal of pollen from honey affect consumers, it also affects the beekeeping industry. With more and more types of honey coming into the United States without proof of origin, it has become more difficult for beekeepers to survive, decreasing demand for their products, which most of the time do contain pollen.
Openings and Closings
Sunday brunch gets a little less fun, and Midtown gets a little more boozy.
Whew! What a crazy week it's been for openings and closings!
First, the bad news.
The worst news last week came from Farrago World Cuisine, whose owners announced it was closing after 13 years due to a massive increase in rent. The restaurant located in Midtown, which has seen a lot of construction in recent months as the neighborhood continues to undergo a revitalization. Farrago was a popular spot for Sunday brunch, offering delicious mimosas and consistently good food. The closing was announced on the restaurant's Facebook on July 28. The owners wrote: "We love and thank you for the last 13+ years. We endured the construction, paid parking and towed customers. Alas, the over double rent was more than we could bare. Today will be the final Sunday brunch. We thank all of you for the wonderful memories. We will remember you fondly. Adieu."
B4-U-Eat reports that Doneraki on Westheimer closed last week without any fanfare. Fortunately for fans of the "authentic Mexican restaurant" (their words, not ours), the Gulfgate location just completed construction on a new deck and celebrated with a 40th-anniversary party, so it looks like the local chain is poised to be around for a while longer.
Dulce Spoon Ice Cream and Desserts in Spring Branch has closed to make way for Habibi Cakes Bakery, which will be opening in mid-August, according to B4-U-Eat. It looks like Habibi Cakes has been in the cake-making business for a while now, but the bakery hasn't previously had a storefront.
The Kroger at 3665 Highway 6 in Sugar Land will soon be closing, Swamplot reports, and it seems that competition from surrounding grocers (including two newer just-down-the-highway stores that Kroger itself put in) might be the cause. On Facebook, Kroger wrote, "Since 1988, this location has served families in the community. During that time, we have met thousands of residents like you who have become valued customers. Within in the past several years, we attempted to increase sales, profitability and store conditions. Despite our best efforts, we weren't successful. We've made the very difficult decision to close the store later this summer." Fortunately, there are those two other Krogers in close proximity, as well as two H-E-Bs, Whole Foods, Randalls, Food Town and Walmart Supercenter. Sugar Land will not go hungry.