SPRING 2011. HONEY. 04.22.11
What do avocados, broccoli, cabbage and apples have in common? Besides being past feature ingredients on Weekly Greens, all of these delicious produce items come from flowering crops that require pollination by honey bees. These crops, estimated at more than 90 in number, represent many of the most nutritious foods available today, including varieties of nuts, fruits and vegetables.
It is a well-known fact that honey bee populations are declining, a state of affairs sometimes referred to as “colony collapse disorder.” The widespread disappearance of honey bees is a culmination of factors that include a toxic combination of viruses, pathogens, pesticides and diseases. These environmental factors have created an imbalance in the earth’s natural systems and cycles, and the result directly impacts our food supply.
Did you know that honey bees are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans? Or that despite a lack of preservatives, honey never goes bad? There are a host of fascinating bee and honey facts. Want to help? Plant plenty of flowers with nectar and pollen, and eliminate the use of pesticides. These modest actions can help restore the health of the bee population.
In the meantime, enjoy this week of sticky goodness. I’m delighted to welcome a guest post by a talented cook, gardener and beekeeper – my mother. Her award-winning honey caramels are a made-over version of a recipe she made every holiday season while I was growing up. Though I’ve failed to acquire her green thumb or her interest in baking and candy-making, I managed to pick up some other useful skills along the way. Thanks, Mom!
mid-week update: 04.26.11
Thank you to all who voted for my photo in the Washingtonian Magazine’s Foodie Photo Contest. It won! The May issue has hit newstands and you can see the article (found on page 16) here.