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Question About Raw Honey


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26 replies to this topic

#1 julirama723

 
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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:05 AM

I apologize if this question has been asked before.

Normally, I would assume that raw honey is gluten-free and safe to eat. BUT, what if the beehives are kept in an area that grows wheat and/or is surrounded by wheat fields? Is there a chance that gluten would be in the raw honey, or is that me being a worrywart?

The reason I ask is because I ate some raw honey in my pumpkin puree last night, and I had stomach issues all night and currently am experiencing all the warm, fuzzy feelings of a good glutening.

It could very well be something else causing this, but I'd like to know if this raw honey is OK to eat in my situation--we have a HUGE tub of it and I would hate to waste it!
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

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#2 julirama723

 
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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ;)
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
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Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#3 GlutenFreeAl

 
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Posted 30 January 2009 - 11:14 AM

I don't want to discount anything necessarily, however I would think that the honey would be fine. Regular ol' honey could potentially come from a hive located close to a wheat field as well, and heating or processing it wouldn't do anything to destroy the gluten. So if raw honey is a potential source of CC, so would regular honey. And peanut butter when the peanuts come from a field next to a wheat field. And jam made from berries grown next to a wheat field. And sugarcane grown next to wheat. Etc.

If you really thought about all the potential sources for food to be grown next to a wheat field, you literally wouldn't eat anything you didn't grow yourself. And even then, you'd have to worry about birds and bees transplanting wheat to your garden...

Sorry to sound negative, but you have to draw the line somewhere, you know? Hope you're feeling better!
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#4 julirama723

 
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Posted 30 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

Thanks for your response, Al. I don't know if this is possible but I've really begun to wonder since discovering my problem with gluten. I guess a sub-question of this topic would be: Can living in a wheat-concentrated area provoke symptoms or make symptoms worse?

I live in an area of Montana nicknamed the Golden Triangle, because such a huge amount of wheat is grown here, the largest in the state. (It's about 150 miles of solid wheat from each apex.) I honestly don't remember having any of these GI issues until after I moved here (I had other things but no GI distress.) It could be coincidence, but I sat down one day and figured out a timeline of when my symptoms got worse, and each time they coincided with harvest.

So it's not just "a" wheat field, it's hundreds of miles of them packed solidly. This is the windiest place I've ever been, dust is constantly everywhere. :(

Does anyone else have experience with this or a similar situation?
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#5 ang1e0251

 
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Posted 31 January 2009 - 06:59 AM

Wow, that's a real puzzle! I don't know the answer but I was always taught that you should eat honey from local bees because they are using the pollen from local sources. The local pollen should help counteract your allergies. No scientific evidence just annecdotal.

Any beekeepers out there?
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#6 julirama723

 
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Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:52 PM

Ang--that's actually why we started using the local raw honey in the first place, to help with my fiance's allergies. It seems to be really helping him! He used to get wiped out when allergy season hit, now he just gets a bit of sniffling and sneezing. As for helping me, I'm not so sure! :)
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#7 Gentleheart

 
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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:15 PM

We have kept bees before. Since acres and acres of wheat would SURELY provide a huge amount of perpetual wheat dust in the air, logic would tell me that this wheat dust would surely deposit itself on the hives and particularly in the sticky honey-laden beeswax trays. When we extracted our honey, we just manually strained off the worst of the debris and bottled it raw. Some beekeepers strain it further and heat it, but neither of those would eliminate wheat dust either. It's a good question that many of us might want to ponder. Maybe we need to buy honey that is exclusively produced from bees in areas that don't grow grains in particular. I'm sure corn or soy or other major allergen grains could be an issue here as well for the same reasons. Now one more thing to figure out! :rolleyes:

And I hate to say it, but I would also think it would be a problem for a gluten intolerant person to live in a wheat producing environment at all. That's when things can get difficult. How far do you go to avoid gluten?
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#8 julirama723

 
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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:29 PM

Gentle--that's an excellent point. We had considered staying here another few years (because it's financially lucrative to do so) but now with the advent of all these health issues, we'll probably move as soon as we can. The area we're planning on moving is NOT agricultural by any means, so I think things might improve.

It could be just a coincidence that all of this started after we moved here, but I'm not so sure...
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#9 julirama723

 
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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:39 AM

Just an update, and something to ponder.

I keep thinking about this subject, if living where I live is making me sick. Sometimes I think it's hooey, sometimes I think it's the key.

My wedding was last weekend, in the southern CA desert. Prior to leaving, I had some tummy troubles and was very nervous about being in a car for so long. We left on Tuesday, and luckily, the issues stopped on Wednesday.

Since it was my wedding, I allowed myself a bit of freedom with some gluten-free foods I don't usually eat, like a gluten-free brownie at the reception, gluten-free granny smith cider from Trader Joe's, Spanish rice, fresh fruit salad. I had no GI distress whatsoever. I also lost about 5 pounds. In fact, I felt better than I've felt in years. I loved being in the sunshine and warm weather, and the sky was so clear and beautiful.

We returned home, back to MT Tuesday night. On Thursday, my GI troubles started again and I've had "issues" each day. Yes, I didn't want to leave, but I was NOT expecting to have painful diarrhea after returning.

I just can't figure this out. Is it something in the region where I live? Is it a particular food I eat when I'm at home and nowhere else? Is it something in my house, like a mold problem? Is it something at work, something I'm breathing through the heating/cooling system?

I feel like I'm hearing hoofbeats and thinking of zebras, but is it really possible for all of these little things over the past 3 years to be merely unrelated coincidences? Does anyone have any thoughts on this, or any similar experiences? I'm sick of this.
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#10 Salax

 
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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:06 PM

Interesting dilemma. There are people that are so sensitive to gluten that breathing it in causes issues. I here itís pretty rare, but maybe you are one of the sensitive ones and you cannot live in that area because of it. The other thought and perhaps this is just something to think about, no offense intended, just my 2 cents ;)

Do you like where you live? Are you happy there? Perhaps, if you are not then it has become attached to your health in that mentally you think itís the place where you live rather than the existing problem? It could be an association type of issue, where an aliment and a place coincide = you are sicker than normal. Again just a thought. I wish you the best!
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Colitis, Hashimotos Disease, & Diverticulitis

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#11 Lisa

 
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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:28 PM

Here's my unexpert thoughts...

Since people react to the "protein" found in wheat, barley, malt and rye. I would think that it should not be a problem to be associated with wheat dust. Perhaps during harvest time when the wheat hulls are disturbed, and if it were to "float" into the honey, it might be an issue. People with a wheat allergy, I would see a concern.

There are a lot of if's (to my humble opinion) and this would be interesting to research.
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#12 julirama723

 
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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:45 AM

Thank you for your replies!

Salax--I've never thought myself to be overly sensitive to gluten in particular (but I am sensitive to a lot of foods in general) so I don't know if it's that I'm breathing something or what. As for liking where I live, it's OK. I like certain things about it and dislike certain things about it. I actually like living here better now (that we've sort of become "established" and have good friends) than when we first moved here, yet I'm so much more sensitive and sick more often than when we started living here. It's a mystery!

Momma Goose--that's the thing I don't know about - what exactly is floating around and when. They harvest 2-3x per year here, depending on the wheat crop. It's also INCREDIBLY windy, and our houses are constantly collecting dust from neighboring fields. It's like a Steinbeck novel. I did have a reaction to wheat during allergy testing, but not large enough to be considered an allergy. (I think I registered as a "3" for wheat when it needed to be a "4" for an allergy.) I'm not sure how much stock I put into allergy testing anyway, I've heard and read that it's highly unreliable.

One thing that I've been pondering is if I'm getting sick because my home is not 100% gluten-free. My husband eats sandwiches for lunch, but prepares them in one area of the kitchen that I do not use. He also drinks beer, but that is easy to "contain" as far as gluten in concerned. Occasionally we will have burgers for dinner, and again these are prepared in the "gluten" area of the kitchen. I did realize that when we were gone (this past week anyway) there was virtually NO gluten in the house we rented. (Only one meal had gluten [hamburger buns] and it was eaten outside. There were no breads, cookies, cakes, etc. in the house that contained gluten. Everything else we served was gluten-free, and the wedding reception was gluten-free as well.

Perhaps it's a cross-contamination issue in my own home? Do many of you live in non-gluten-free households?
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient

#13 chasbari

 
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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:33 AM

Thank you for your replies!

Salax--I've never thought myself to be overly sensitive to gluten in particular (but I am sensitive to a lot of foods in general) so I don't know if it's that I'm breathing something or what. As for liking where I live, it's OK. I like certain things about it and dislike certain things about it. I actually like living here better now (that we've sort of become "established" and have good friends) than when we first moved here, yet I'm so much more sensitive and sick more often than when we started living here. It's a mystery!

Momma Goose--that's the thing I don't know about - what exactly is floating around and when. They harvest 2-3x per year here, depending on the wheat crop. It's also INCREDIBLY windy, and our houses are constantly collecting dust from neighboring fields. It's like a Steinbeck novel. I did have a reaction to wheat during allergy testing, but not large enough to be considered an allergy. (I think I registered as a "3" for wheat when it needed to be a "4" for an allergy.) I'm not sure how much stock I put into allergy testing anyway, I've heard and read that it's highly unreliable.

One thing that I've been pondering is if I'm getting sick because my home is not 100% gluten-free. My husband eats sandwiches for lunch, but prepares them in one area of the kitchen that I do not use. He also drinks beer, but that is easy to "contain" as far as gluten in concerned. Occasionally we will have burgers for dinner, and again these are prepared in the "gluten" area of the kitchen. I did realize that when we were gone (this past week anyway) there was virtually NO gluten in the house we rented. (Only one meal had gluten [hamburger buns] and it was eaten outside. There were no breads, cookies, cakes, etc. in the house that contained gluten. Everything else we served was gluten-free, and the wedding reception was gluten-free as well.

Perhaps it's a cross-contamination issue in my own home? Do many of you live in non-gluten-free households?


I live in a non gluten free home with five gluten eaters and myself. My wife bakes and cooks all the time. We have a small kitchen and are careful about shared spaces. I just had my first issue with glutening since going gluten-free in November of 2008 yesterday and it came from my carelessly forgetting about what I had read on a label some months ago. There are crumbs sometimes, the smell of chocolate chip cookies or pepperoni rolls or some other baked good wafting through the house too many times for me..it's downright torture sometimes mentally but I have never had a problem with reacting or CC until I directly ingested a known (but stupidly forgotten) source of gluten. Then again, everyone is different.
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#14 RiceGuy

 
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Posted 24 March 2009 - 11:58 AM

My thought on the honey is that I wouldn't eat it. Honey is basically from pollen, and pollen does travel through the air. In fact, I've read that farmers have tremendous difficulty keeping their fields producing the specific varieties of grains they grow, because of pollen drifting in from other fields in the area. This seems especially true for non-GMO crops. Does anyone recall the law suit where the farmer had GMO corn growing in his fields, which he did NOT plant? The company holding the patent on the GMO corn filed suit against him, for growing "their" crop without having paid for the seed. It was determined that pollen drifted in from another field.

Some studies on Celiac Disease, involving the original non-hybrid wheat varieties, have failed because the fields get contaminated with the man-made strains. Last I read, of the more than 20,000 varieties of wheat currently in commercial production, ALL are modern hybrids.

Anyway, I do think it is possible for someone to be reacting to wheat pollen or dust from the fields. What I think I might do, is take a new, clean air filter for an air cleaner, swish it in a pan of water, then test the water with one of those home gluten test kits. Then use the filter in the air cleaner device until you can visually see particulate collected on it. Then run the water test again. If you run the air cleaner outside, it should avoid being contaminated by the inside air. So if the filter then tests positive, it seems to me this proves that the gluten came from outside.
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#15 julirama723

 
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Posted 25 March 2009 - 07:06 AM

Chasbari--you are brave! I got rid of all flours when I went gluten-free. The only thing my husband has is bread/buns, and beer. He even eats gluten-free pasta now! When I returned home, it was like I had been glutened, and I'm not sure what from, since I hadn't eaten anything out of the ordinary when I got back. I'm basically grasping at straws here. If it's a CC issue that's causing it, my husband already said he'd go gluten-free. I'd prefer not to do that if I don't have to, as it would be MUCH more expensive. He's also a ridiculously picky eater and can't/won't eat half the stuff I will.

RiceGuy--I am so glad that you believe this could be a real possibility! I feel like I'm going crazy some days, but my symptoms and problems HAVE to be related somehow to where I live. I wasn't even aware of harvest schedules before. I only figured out the link when making a timeline for my doctor, a timeline of symptoms and incidences of being ill. During each harvest, my symptoms would worsen and I would be VERY sick.

I'm definitely staying away from the honey, I guess DH will have to eat it.

The nearest large city in the area is the ACTUAL windiest city in N. America. This whole area is constantly dusty and windy. It's impossible to escape. We also live in an older building and the windows do not seal properly, so we always have dust/dirt from the outside getting in that way. I think we will definitely be moving much sooner than we anticipated.
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Graves Disease 5/95-5/97
Noticeable GI distress started 8/07
Mom Dx Celiac 9/08
Dietary Response POS 10/08
Bloodwork and Biopsy NEG 12/08
IgA Deficient




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