A snowy Saturday morning meant a visit to the local farmers market rather than an offseason club ride. There to pick up my usual bag full of local free range eggs and grass fed meats I passed the Cosman & Whidden kiosk and realized I was out of honey. A quick glance revealed some honeycomb for sale - a definite treat. I purchased a small block along with a 165gram jar of unpasturized honey. An excellent local product from Greenwich it is...."gathered from the wildflowers and fruit blossoms in the Annapolis Valley and the wild blueberry fields of Nova Scotia."
Honey is another controversal foodstuff within the Paleo Nutrition world and whenever I indulge it always gets me thinking about why a natural sweetner able to be enjoyed without processing(raw honeycomb) would cause such debate.My personal logic dictates that early hominids would have done whatever they could to obtain the honeycomb, even to the point of repeated stings.Homo Sapiens have well developed sense of taste so if we were not meant to eat sugars then why can we taste them? I do agree with the general consensus that honey was probably a seasonal treat or a lucky find in most paleolithic societies and not a staple of early hunter-gatherer tribes. There is some evidence of honey gathering found in paleolithic sites worldwide including a cave painting from Spain.Similar paintings have been found in Africa and India.
Perhaps this is how our early ancestors also managed to collect honeycomb.....an excellent BBC video.
The fact that early Neolithic cultures attributed such religious symbolism to bees and honey bear witness to the reverance of mankind to honeycomb.Bee symbolism can be found in most ancient civilizations and all the world's major religions advocate the use of honey. A passage from the Qur'an also illustrates the healing properties of honey....
"And your Lord inspired the bees, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. (68) Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you)." There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think."
The healing properties of honey are renown from the use as an antibiotic, a healing salve for wounds and to speed the healing of burns.
Honey also is an important natural food for both pre exercise preparation and post exercise recovery....
Honey bees are really amazing creatures.Some would argue that our whole ecosystem is dependant upon these industrial critters and their non honey producing cousins for crop and plant pollination.
So this caveman enjoys an occasional piece of honeycomb or a little added to coffee or tea for an occasional treat. I also use it before and after intense exercise to facilitate both performance and recovery.