When it comes to buying your food do you buy locally produced food wherever possible or do you search for the cheapest available? It’s a tough call sometimes of course but I for one would much rather support a local producer than a foreign import whenever I can. A recent acquisition of mine is honey. Yes, I plead guilty to buying supermarket honey sometimes but that is usually led by convenience and not taste. We all know that there is no such thing as ‘superfoods’ or ‘wonder cures’ but honey seems to consistently crop up when it comes to choosing the nearest thing to a superfood that you can get. Naturally produced local honey from the Artisan Honey Co is really delicious and, containing its own natural preservatives, you’ll be pleased to hear that it doesn’t need any additional ingredients to make it taste nice.
Lincolnshire not only provides the country with a very large proportion of its food but it is also a huge producer of nectar for the bees. Looking at the global eco system and the concern about the decline in the number of bees it’s really heartening to know that Lincolnshire is playing its part when it comes to feeding nature and helping to look after our planet. Managing the hives to ensure future honey production obviously has the benefits of ensuring the safety of our bees too.
This isn’t an ‘eco blog’ by any means but I must admit that I’m very conscious about what we’re doing to our planet and how we could better protect it. With that said, I wonder if you are aware that the UK imports 90-95% of the honey we consume? I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite a shocking figure. The carbon footprint of our honey must be enormous and the fossil fuels burned to transport it must surely be huge. Until I looked it up I was completely unaware of how much of our honey came from abroad. As I’m typing this I’m beginning to realise even more how important it is to ‘buy local’. I know Si of @ArtisanHoneyCo sources his honey locally. After all, it is his business and he has a duty of care for the bees that provide his income. Without them there would be no Artisan Honey Co and we would be deprived of another source of top quality UK (Lincolnshire to be specific) produce.
With the ever increasing demand for different flavours it makes sense to transport some of the hives out of Caythorpe for the bees to explore new locations. The large expanses of oil seed rape will obviously provide a good source of pollen but we may have relatively small quantities of heather or Lavender so a short ‘hop’ across a County makes sense. Unblended (flavours from a single floral source) allows us to appreciate the subtle differences in flavours rather than having a generic honey taste that the blended varieties produce. let’s face it, that short hop is a much better scenario than a large hop across countries or continents!
How Do You Take Yours?
Honey on a plain cracker is going to allow us to pick up the subtle flavours more easily than on a strong tasting bread but I have to admit that I’m rather partial to honey on toast. I asked a question on Twitter at breakfast time “Runny or set honey on my toast”? Needless to say, the results were not conclusive so I had one slice of toast with runny honey and the other with set honey. It seemed like a very good idea. Someone suggested runny honey in the coffee but I like my coffee strong and bitter so I gave that one a miss. However, I can confirm that they are both very nice neat – but don’t tell anyone that I did that!
The Coronavirus is the reason for this honey journey by the way. If you’ve ever had a bad throat where it felt as though you’re trying to swallow razor blades you’ll know how I felt. Si recommended a honey spray (which I used neat) to sooth the symptoms. The spray contains alcohol and the combination certainly helped to anaesthetise the area. I combined the spray with a small amount of neat runny honey (not both at the same time) which acted as a coating for my throat and certainly made it feel much better. Thankfully I’ve recovered from the virus now so I’m back to relative normality.
With all this talk about honey and my mind wandering around the subject of food it’s only right that I should include this message from the University of Lincoln Chaplaincy. It’s a reminder that there are still people in desperate need of assistance in our County. While many rushed out to panic buy food at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic it has become evident that there was no need to panic as food is still plentiful. It’s a great shame that the refuse services reported a significant rise in food being thrown away by the public after the big rush with much of the food being untouched or even unopened! With most buying restrictions being lifted now perhaps you can afford to buy a few extra tins or packets of food to donate? A little goes a long way when we all work together
Any donations, no matter how big or small will be gratefully received at any of the sites below. If you’re new to donating be sure to let them know that you saw the post on #LincsConnect
Stay safe everyone and remember, if a journey isn’t essential, ‘don’t do it’