A kinder way to eat honey by Milly Woodard

It’s a well-documented fact that we humans depend on bees to pollinate crops. Without bees much of the world’s population would starve. But by extracting honey from beehives we are removing the very energy source that bees rely on for nutrition themselves. Honey is the energy source of bees – without it they would starve.

The commercial manufacture of honey and the mass breeding of honey bees affects the populations of other competing, non-nectar producing insects including other bees. Overwhelmed by the ever-inflating quantities of farmed bees, the numbers of native bumblebees have declined.

The importing of honey into the UK also increases our carbon footprint through the emissions associated with transport. Of the honey consumed in the UK, 95% of it is imported. But there is an alternative, kinder way to eat honey.

Unlike bees, humans can thrive without honey in their diets. Luckily, there are a whole range of readily-available vegan alternatives for those with a sweet tooth, whether you need a product for baking, cooking, to stir into your tea, or to eat a spoonful of out of the jar at the end of a long day to give you a much-needed energy boost.

Vegan Green Bee Honey Alternative is a delicious, organic, gluten-free syrup made from brown rice. It looks and tastes like honey, however, it is cruelty-free and doesn’t come from bees. It is delicious spread on bread, toast, crumpets or muffins. It can also be used as a topping for porridge or other cereals, stirred into your tea or coffee or as a cooking ingredient. It’s also organic, gluten-free and 100% bee-friendly.

I tried using it in a Honeyed Winter Salad as an alternative to real honey and it was delicious. Here’s the recipe step by step:

I used a whole butternut squash cut into wedges, two red onions, halved and cut into wedges, and four parsnips cut into wedges, which I roasted for 20 minutes with two tablespoons of olive oil, turning once in a while until softened. I drizzled the Honey Alternative over the top of the vegetables then scattered over some torn ciabatta bread and sunflower seeds then returned to the oven for a further 5 mins until toasted. A large bag of spinach was then added to a salad bowl with the roasted veg and the ciabatta. I then whisked in 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard and a further tablespoon of olive oil. The whole lot was tossed together until the spinach was wilted. The Honey Alternative provided a delicious sweetness which paired well with the sharpness of the vinegar and mustard.

If you wish to support bees, please do not buy beeswax or honey and make your garden as bee-friendly as possible through the planting of specific flowers which attract bees. Consider donating to a charity supporting bees such as the https://www.vegansociety.com/ approved Bumblebee Conservation Trust https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/

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