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Nutrition And Honey:
Honey In Infant Feeding
Nutritive Value Of Honey
Honey Versus Sugar
Physical And Chemical Aspects Of Honey
Natural And Artificial Sugars Versus Honey
Object Of Nutrition
Can One Eat Too Much Honey?
Honey In Beverages
General Commets On Diet
Nutritive Value Of Honey
TICKNER EDWARDES wrote thus about honey: "Honey is good for old and young. If mothers were wise they would never give their children any other sweet food. Pure ripe honey is sugar with the most difficult and most important part of digestion already accomplished by the bees. Moreover, it is a safe and very gentle laxative. And probably, before each comb-cell is sealed up, the bee injects a drop of acid from her sting. Anyway, honey has a distinct antiseptic property. That is why it is so good for sore throats or chafed skins. If only doctors could be induced to seek curative power in ancient homely things, as they do with the latest poisons from Germany! That applies also to the treatment of obesity. Fat people, who are ordered to give up sugar, ought to use honey instead. In my time I have persuaded many a one to try it, and the result has always been the same—a steady reduction in weight and better health all around. Then again, dyspeptic folks would find most of their troubles vanish if they substituted the already half-digested honey wherever ordinary sugar forms part of their diet. And did you ever try honey to sweeten tea or coffee? Of course, it must be pure, and without any strongly-marked flavour; but no one would ever return to sugar if once good honey had been tried in this way, or in any kind of cookery where sugar is used. In extracting honey it gets into most places, the hair not excepted. At any rate, honey as a hair-restorer was one of the most famous nostrums of the Middle Ages, and may return to popular favour even now."
Good honey is an ideal food, nutritious and easily digested. Professor Klemperer of Berlin claimed that a tablespoonful of honey is equivalent in nutritive value to the largest-sized hen egg. According to Professor von Bunge, 98% of the lime, iron, salt and grape sugar, of which honey contains 77%, are directly absorbed by the blood. Honey is six times richer in fuel value than milk and, in addition, it contains more inorganic substances. The flavor of honey has also a dietetic value as it induces the free flow of saliva which in itself promotes digestion. It is not surprising that the Germans called honey Urnahrung (aboriginal food). There is also a breath of romance in each drop of honey.
The nutritive value of honey was well proven by a recent experiment (March 1935) of Dr. Mykola H. Haydak, of the Agricultural Department of the University of Minnesota, who for a four-month period lived exclusively on honey and milk. Dr. Haydak wished to prove that solids are not necessary to sustain life and that this combination was a perfect diet. During the third month he developed scurvy which, however, was easily cured by adding a small quantity of orange juice. He was pronounced, by the examining physicians of the University, to be in perfect health. At the beginning of the diet Haydak lost several pounds but he soon regained the deficiency and his weight remained constant thereafter.
Honey is best suited for the young and the old. Before puberty and during the years of decline the ductless glands, especially the thyroid gland, do not function adequately and meat is not indicated. The toxic products formed in the organism by the decomposition of meat cannot be destroyed. People when their endocrines are undeveloped or in a state of retrogression will not tolerate meat but crave sweets. Pronounced meat eaters and consumers of alcohol have little desire for sweets; on the other hand, children, the aged, the weak and invalid, especially women, crave them.
The Biblical designation, "a land flowing with milk and honey," should be suggestive enough to combine honey with dairy products. Honey cream, honey butter, honey cream cheese are whole-some combinations. To please the palate they could be flavored with chocolate, vanilla or malt.
Honey is widely used today as a food among primitive races. They mix it with milk, curds, cheese and especially with cereals and bread. The Anyanja tribe (Central Africa) make from maize flour, bananas and honey the so-called mkate, which is practically their sole food.
Honey is also used extensively, internally and externally in veterinary practice. A lean horse fed on honey and bran will rapidly put on flesh. Homer relates in the Iliad that Diomedes fed his horses honeyed barley.
Luther C. Headley, of Madison, New Jersey, has experimented for years on feeding cows an admixture of honey, and has found that their milk and by-products are more nourishing. Leghorn pullets, fed on mash to which some of this milk had been added, lay gigantic eggs which almost burst out of the ordinary box and ran in weight more than thirty-three ounces to a dozen as compared with eggs weighing twenty-four ounces to a dozen laid by pullets of the identical strain not fed the same mixture. Honey has a marked effect on the muscles and bones of growing cattle. Members of the State Agricultural Association of New Jersey, who visited the Headley farm, expressed amazement at the size of a six-month old calf fed since birth on honey.
The owner of a large turkey farm in Connecticut, which is famous for the size and tenderness of its turkeys, feeds the birds on mash mixed with honey.