This Earth Day, people around the world will be discussing ways in which we can sustain a happy, healthy planet. There are an array of things we can do to help, from cutting down our plastic consumption to using public transit and even eating raw and creamed honey. Before you question yourself - yes, you read that correctly, we said eating honey. Here’s why honey is one of the most sustainable foods on the planet.
1. Honey Production Requires No Cultivation Of Land
It’s a sad fact that one acre of rainforest is cut down every second (Rainforest Foundation US). This is largely to cater to our food demands, especially sugar.
Sugarcane production mainly takes place in tropical regions where topsoil levels are poor. As a result, the land can only sustain healthy growth for a short period of time, meaning new land must then be found. Often, trees are cut down to make way for the sugarcane crops to be planted. This deforestation results in loss of irreplaceable biodiversity, especially in tropical regions where species biodiversity is at its greatest.
Sugar production represents an extreme in the agriculture sector but almost all crops require land for their production and this is not without consequences. Honey, however, is an exception. For honey production, all you need are bees and flowers, both of which thrive on untouched land. No trees need to be cut down (except for the wood used to build the homes they live in), no grass or native habitat needs to be brought up, there is no soil degradation and no species are lost due to honey production. The land can stay exactly as is and our busy bees will go about their regular routine, collecting nectar and making the honey we all know and love.
2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Honey Production are VERY low
Did you know that livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions (Cowspiracy). That’s half! Unfortunately all food production leaves a carbon footprint but changing our diet to “greener” options can help limit its effect on the environment.
Luckily, raising honey bees and packaging our raw honey requires minimal resources and energy. No large tractors are needed, nor are fertilizers. In fact, all we need is one vehicle to drive to our hives every few weeks during spring and summer and we simply move it from the hives, to the jar, and then into your kitchen cupboard. The simple production process is a key reason why honey is such a sustainable food.
3. You Can Buy Canadian Honey
Do you ever read the labels of where your foods come from? Unfortunately some of the tastiest foods have travelled long distances to reach us. A lot of bananas come from Ecuador, a lot of sugar comes from Brazil, much of the lamb we eat has literally travelled across the world from Australia or New Zealand to arrive on our plates. While it would be a big step to stop eating all of those delicious foods, it’s a great idea to choose Canadian food products when possible. And when it comes to honey, that’s certainly possible! Canada produces 43 million kg of honey annually!
If all of this has made you want to do your bit in protecting our planet and wildlife, you can join us this month in supporting the valuable work Nature Conservancy Canada do. They are a charity who work to protect Canada’s land, flora and wildlife. From ensuring large mammals, like moose, are as healthy as can be, to tracking numbers of the tiniest frogs and grasses - all of which support a healthy Canadian ecosystem. All profits made in our online shop this month will be donated to NCC, so all you need to do to help is add a jar or two of honey to your cart, and let us pass on the profits from your purchase to Nature Conservancy Canada.