A taste of honeys

Recently (very recently), my friend and fellow blogger Joseph Nebus posted a tidbit on his blog about a can of pumpkin.

(Disclaimer: I have never actually met the very splendid and worthwhile Mr. Nebus.  Our interactions to date have consisted of cross-blog discussions of subjects such as the history of the color indigo, how to use tea lights as toys, the relationship between Vincent Price and St. Louis, and the connection between Robert Boyle and 3rd Century Saint Pancras.  However, I find his writing very entertaining, and I believe that should I ever find myself in Michigan or he in North Carolina, our meeting would be quite amicable, and dominated by some random aspect of our surroundings.  His blogs are quite good.  Go read them here and here while I try to remember what I was saying.)

Ah, yes, now I remember.  Joseph was doing a statistical analysis of the ingredient of 100% canned pumpkin and took great comfort in the results.  (Spoiler alert: it’s pumpkin.)

In what could only be termed synchronicity if this train of thought had been recorded by The Police in 1983, I had a similar revelation a few weeks ago.  I found a packet of honey (pictured above) in the break room at work, and I was taken by two thoughts:

  1. Honey can be graded, which means that there is an occupation called “honey grader”.  I am now considering a second career in the lucrative and prestigious honey grading industry after retirement  I wonder how much schooling is required.
  2. It’s hard to read because I am such a lousy photographer, but just below the honey-pot-obscuring glare, the following is written in tiny, friendly letters:


At the time, I was taken aback by the idea that one had to list the ingredients of pure honey, and happy that the term “pure” was apparently not a euphemism, like “natural” or “nutritious”. But after reading Joseph’s report, I now have a more important question: Why is pumpkin considered an ingredient (singular), but honey is considered “ingredients”.  Is it because that can of pumpkin all came from the same gourd, while the honey was gathered from multiple hives?

Or were the corporate lawyers for Big Honey just covering their bases.  “Let’s call it ingredients, just in case we find something else in there, like mangled bee limbs, or tungsten.  It’ll save on printing costs later.”

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