Wacky Wednesday - Interesting facts about Bees and Honey
With its distinctive chemical composition, honey will never go bad.
We all know what it means when food spoils. Food from the grocery store comes with expiration dates. We have seen moldy cheese or tasted stale bread.
This does not happen to honey.
Go back to the chemical balance of honey. When we say a food spoils, what we really mean is that it gets overtaken by bacteria or other microorganisms. These invading lifeforms take over the food and make it inedible for humans.
However, bacteria and microorganisms need certain conditions to thrive. Namely, they need water.
Because honey has such a low water content, bacteria and microorganisms cannot survive. With nothing to consume in the honey, these lifeforms do not take hold. Therefore, the natural spoiling that happens in other foods will not happen in honey.
Then, look again at the acidity of honey. We all know what acid can do. The acid in honey will destroy most invading bacteria.
There is one last impressive trait of honey. When nectar is transformed into honey, the sucrose is broken down into gluconic acid.
The byproduct of this creates hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant.
Between the water, acid and hydrogen peroxide, honey is poised to protect itself.
When sealed and stored properly, there is simply no way for honey to be corrupted. Its shelf life is much longer than any other substance in your pantry.
Is Honey Biodegradable?
Only by understanding the unique properties of honey is it possible to address the question of biodegradability.
For something to be biodegradable, it must naturally break down in the environment. This process can take days, weeks, months or years.
It can even take decades or centuries.
By this definition, honey is technically biodegradable. Honey is naturally made, and it can decompose under the right conditions.
Still, the process of decomposition can take years.
In fact, honey can remain edible for millennia.
During archaeological digs, honey has been found in countless contexts. It was often stored in tombs of noblemen in ancient societies in Georgia and Egypt.
When honey can last this long, the notion of biodegradability is somewhat moot. Just because honey can eventually break down in the environment does not mean that it belongs in landfills.
Indeed, the real advantage of honey is that it never has to be thrown out if cared for properly.
While honey is a natural product and theoretically biodegradable, its biodegradation will take many years – even millennia.
#naturalhomebrands #honey #bees #wackywednesday #ecofriendly
- Carole Zellers