Posted on in Todd Talks by Todd Johnson

I can remember as a kid once finding a jar of honey on a shelf in an old, mostly burned down house. I couldn't believe anything found in this house would be useful, let alone edible. But there I was, holding an old, dirty jar of honey. I had no idea how old it was, but it sure looked old based on the environment I found it in.

But it turned out that jar of honey was still edible. And it wasn't even close to being old compared with what others have found around the world. While excavating the pyramids in Egypt, archeologists found pots of honey that were more than 3,000 years old, and, yet, they were still perfectly edible.

It turns out that there is evidence that humans have been using honey for a very long time. There are cave paintings in Valencia, Spain, depicting people collecting honey that date back more than 8,000 years. Mead wine has been fermented with honey for thousands of years. There is even evidence of medicinal uses for honey. It has been used as a cough medicine (usually mixed with lemon), as an ointment to promote healing of wounds, and also as a treatment for burns. While evidence of its effectiveness is mostly inconclusive, some people are firm believers, and you even can purchase medical honey today. Honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide and even has antibacterial properties, so it's no giant leap to believe it could work. And we have been using more than just the honey. The wax has been used as a sealant and water proofing agent for containers and other goods.

There are some minor risks associated with honey. Depending on the flowers the bees pollinate, the honey could become toxic. This is mostly an issue in parts of New Zealand. There is also an increased risk of infection in people with weakened immune systems. Finally, babies should not consume honey until they are over one year of age due to risk of infantile botulism if the honey has been contaminated with certain pathogens.  

I keep honey in my office. There are so many benefits that, to me, far outweigh any potential risks. Honey is rich in antioxidants, aids in weight loss, can provide a natural energy boost, can be used as a natural sweetener, and it's also rich in vitamins and minerals. One thing that is important to remember: For long term storage, honey must be sealed, because it naturally wants to absorb moisture from the air, and if the water contents gets too high, it can begin to ferment.