Why Honey is a More Sustainable Sweetener than Sugar

Honey as a sustainable sweetener

Pure Honey, Real Fruit – that is what we are all about here at Meridian Hive! As a local Austin company, we strive to be as sustainable and promote ethical materials as much as possible. Obviously, we are such huge fans of honey, and you should be too! Not only for all the incredible varietals but for the sustainability practices as well! Here are three reasons why honey is the most sustainable products on earth.

  1. Honey Production Requires no land cultivation

We lose 80,000 acres of tropical deforestation a day along with another 80,000 acres of significant degradation a day according to Scientific American. One of the many reasons deforestation is so prevalent is due to the need for sugarcane fields. These fields stretch for acres and acres destroying the natural habitat of thousands of animals – including bees. In order for honey to be produced, all that is need is pollinators (bees) and flowers.

Supporting bee health means supporting bees. Eating honey is not harmful to bees because producers promote best practices that support bee nutrition, well-maintained apiaries, and the appropriate application of pest control. Modern beekeepers also pay attention to clean foraging areas and hive placement.

Meridian Hive has partnered with a high-quality honey producer out of Mexico, who sources pure honey through healthy sustainable apiary partners. Our honey quality and consistency is guaranteed. We NEVER mix our honey with cheap mixers like Sugar and Syrups and we believe you can taste the quality in each sip of our products.

Our commitment is to share the vital role honey bees play as premiere pollinators and stewards of our environment. Without them, the food we depend on would dwindle as pollinator foods, including those pollinated by bees, represent one in every three bites of food that we eat. 

In support of our bee friends, we launched the ‘Grow With Us’ campaign to make it easy for our customers to choose quality drinks and do their bit for the bees by providing……. plant bee friendly wildflowers to support local bee colonies.

Sugarcane farming has fueled deforestation in some of the world's most threatened ecosystems—including Brazil's Atlantic Forest, which once covered a massive area but has been reduced to just 7% of its original size. Growers will need to cultivate almost 50% more land by 2050 to meet projected global sugarcane demand.

Sugar mills produce wastewater, emissions and solid waste that impact the environment. The massive quantities of plant matter and sludge washed from mills decompose in freshwater bodies, absorbing all the available oxygen and leading to massive fish kills. In addition, mills release flue gases, soot, ash, ammonia and other substances during processing.

Land laid bare in preparation for cane planting is stripped of any protective cover, allowing the soils to dry out. This impacts overall microorganism diversity and mass, both of which are essential to fertility. Additionally, exposed topsoil is easily washed off of sloping land, with nutrients leached from the topsoil. Further, the continual removal of cane from the fields gradually reduces fertility and forces growers to rely increasingly on fertilizers.

  1. Greenhouse gas emissions are very low

While all food production emits greenhouse gases, raising bees and producing honey is one of the lowest options out there. There are no tractors needed to harvest. There are no large machines to collect from the hives, There are no fertilizers used. There are also very few steps from the hive to the cupboard making honey not only one of the most sustainable products out there, but also one of the most natural.

Burning sugarcane affects the environment negatively, and primarily by causing air pollution.

The burning of the leafy parts of sugarcane supports the emission of various toxic and hazardous substances that can affect air quality. Examples of these substances include nitrates, carbon compounds, and sulfates.

These substances are then related to the menace of climate change. For instance, a combination of various compounds from the burning of sugarcane reduces oxidization efficiency and increases ozone concentrations.

Even worse, sugarcane burning also has a significant effect on human health. And this becomes even more compelling when you consider it from the perspective that we are part of the environment.

For instance, burning sugarcane causes particle pollution. These particles usually find their way into the lungs. And this often results in various health issues.

For example, research shows that these particles in the lungs share a connection to irregular heartbeat, lung or heart diseases, and nonfatal heart attacks. It also causes a reduction in lung function, resulting in aggravated asthma, difficulty in breathing, and coughing. 

Also, burning sugarcane causes various toxins that cause liver damage, neurological damage, headaches, and drowsiness.

  1. You can purchase locally

As mentioned earlier, honey comes in many different forms. This is because honey tastes different based on the region. If there are orange blossom trees in the area, the bees will be producing Orange Blossom Honey. If the wildflower population is thriving, the honey will be a Wildflower Honey. Bees only travel up to 3 miles around their hives. Whatever flora is in their immediate vicinity will be the honey they produce. This allows individuals to enjoy what is local to them – unlike large sugar cane and corn syrup factories. 

Honey is the sustainable sweetener of the future. We at Meridian Hive believe that promoting the use of a product that is local, sustainable, and most importantly, delicious, is the future of how we are going to be consuming food. By avoiding mass produced sweeteners, not only are we enjoying a higher quality product, but we are also able to enjoy local honey, buy products that don’t promote deforestation, and avoid high greenhouse gas emissions. Are you looking for some local honey? Check out this amazing finder









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