Short answer – yes and no!
I have to admit, this question stumped me! Until three years ago, I knew very little about honey. With the help of BJ Weeks, owner of Weeks Works, Inc., I have learned more than I have ever given thought to about honey. When faced with the question, “Is the honey processed?”, who better to reach out to than Mr. Weeks.
Heading into the discussion, my gut told me that the overall answer was NO. When you look at any Weeks Works honey label, you will see two very important words, “pure” and “raw”. Raw honey is exactly what bees deposit into the cells of the combs. Honey can be gathered from the combs by gravitational force, or from spinning. Once the honey is extracted, it is then “strained to remove the larger items of wax, wings, dead bees”, per Mr. Weeks. During our discussion, Mr. Weeks was very specific to tell me that his honey is not micro strained. When honey is micro strained, you risk removing everything in the honey that many purchase local honey for – the pollen! The explanation just provided answers half of the customer question. The Weeks Works honey at Rooster’s Market that is marked “pure” and “raw” is not processed.
The other half of this question is yes, and it specifically applies to the Weeks Works Spreadable Creamed Honey. This honey comes in the following flavors: Blueberry, Cinnamon, Raspberry, and Natural. In order for the pure, raw honey to made into the creamed form, a “whipping” process is applied. Natural flavors are added during this process. Once whipped, the pure, raw honey loses its ability to form larger crystals, thus leaving the smooth, spreadable texture.
For a tidbit of information, the other forms of honey “processing” include heating, filtration, ultrasonication, gamma radiation, and microwave radiation. The long and short of “why process honey?” is simple, it creates a clear, spreadable, and prettier product. If you ask me – I’ll go with the au naturel version – for health reasons.