How to Buy the Best Honey for the Planet (and Your Diet)

Photo credit Getty Images

As climate change and chemical bug sprays threaten bee populations all over the world, our precious honey is under threat as well.

While bees contribute to stable agricultural environments in a host of ways, so-called Ethical Honey may be the most visible way consumers can voice concern and help push global farming in the right environmental direction.

Plus, well-sourced honey just tastes better. Here’s how to shop for Ethical Honey. 


Buy organic

organic honey
Photo credit Getty Images

Beekeepers can help the environment by avoiding harsh chemicals, and you can help those who only use organic products by buying their honey. This applies not only to honey, but to many other agricultural products. Bees are everywhere and farms can harm populations by using chemical pesticides. Organic honey producers are also banned from other insidious practices like clipping wings or artificial insemination.


Look for “surplus” sellers

surplus honey
Photo credit Getty Images

Bees don’t just produce honey for their human pals. They also rely on their sweet stock for their own food supply. Responsible honey harvesting limits farmers to just the bees’ excess, whatever the little critters don’t need for food. Unethical, commodified honey farmers take all of the honey and then feed the bees artificial sugar like corn syrup instead, damaging the bees’ natural diet and loading in all the environmental problems with corn syrup into honey production. 


Seek out fair trade products

Photo credit Getty Images

Doing good by the planet also means doing good by the people who work the Earth. Look for labels that signal honeys made with fair trade practices, which ensure workers are paid living wages and aren’t overworked. 


Shop local

Photo credit Getty Images

Cut down on your honey’s transportation footprint by buying local. Honey offers as much terroir as a fine wine or other organically grown product, so picking up a jar from a local farmer gives you the chance to taste honey that accurately represents your home. When you buy from a farm or farmers market, you also have the chance to ask the seller about production practices to make sure the bees are treated well. 


Do it yourself

honey in the sun
Photo credit Getty Images

If you’re feeling inspired to promote healthy beekeeping practices, why not start a hive yourself? It’s easier than you might think to start up, even if you need to find rooftop space in a busy city environment. 


For more ideas on how you can save the planet, visit 1Thing.