Skip to comments.The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History
Posted on 09/24/2013 2:05:20 PM PDT by Excellence
Magnus von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach arrived in Chicago in 2006 full of hope. He was 30, she was 28, and they had both won their first overseas assignments at ALW Food Group, a family-owned food-trading company based in Hamburg. Von Buddenbrock had joined ALWthe initials stand for its founder, Alfred L. Wolfffour years earlier after earning a degree in marketing and international business, and he was expert in the buying and selling of gum arabic, a key ingredient in candy and soft drinks. Giesselbach had started at ALW as a 19-year-old apprentice. She worked hard, learned quickly, spoke five languages, and within three years had become the companys first female product manager. Her specialty was honey. When the two colleagues began their new jobs in a small fourth-floor office a few blocks from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, ALWs business was growing, and all they saw was opportunity.
On March 24, 2008, von Buddenbrock came to the office around 8:30 a.m., as usual. He was expecting a quiet day: It was a holiday in Germany, and his bosses there had the day off. Giesselbach was on holiday, too; she had returned to Germany to visit her family and boyfriend. Sometime around 10 a.m., von Buddenbrock heard a commotion in the reception area and went to have a look. A half-dozen armed federal agents, all wearing bulletproof vests, had stormed in. They made a good show, coming in with full force, he recalls. It was pretty scary.
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So was this actual real honey or artificial honey?
Wow. It’s a good thing we have the government to save us from cheap honey.
Sounds like the frozen seafood business twenty years ago....
All of the above. I will from now on only buy local. I might even drive to the bee farm. Whatever honey I find in the house is going in the trash.
True Source Honey:
The big honey companies microfilter not just to remove pollen (which as the article states makes the origins hard to trace). The big reason is that Americans won’t buy honey that’s crystallized. Ultrafiltration can delay or prevent crystallization. The supermarkets would be stuck with a ton of unsellable crystallized honey.
The folks at food Safety think that if it has no pollen it’s not “real” honey, I think that’s a bit extreme.
It is possible though to adulterate honey with HFCS, in which case it’s not honey. HFCS and honey are very close chemically, a water solution of fructose, glucose, and a few other very minor constituents.
Actually, it is - considering that it’s full of chemicals and adulterated with lots of crap.
“We’re bee keepers. We’ve known for a long time imported honey isn’t real. We can taste the difference. “
Remember when Clinton cut a deal with China to let them sell “honey” at $0.50 a pound wholesale? I think at the time wholesale “bakery honey” was at $1.35 in the US.
My numbers are from memory and probably not exact. I kept several hundred thousand bees at the time.
The stuff coming in tasted like it had never been bugspit.
Buy Pitcairn honey. Get it straight from the source.
Or have your own hive. Our bees make some real good honey...and it's very satisfying to know it comes from your own back yard.
I'm torn on this. I don't want adulterated crap from second and third-world coutries (or first-world, for that matter) in my food chain, but I also disagree with the heavy-handed tactics of the fed.
The big reason is that Americans wont buy honey thats crystallized.
Nothing a little warm water can't fix.
There’s a honey seller at the farmer’s market I’ll check out. We live in the high desert, and local honey has a certain quality that sets it apart.
How old school is this? My town has a local honey producer with an unmanned ‘honor system’ stand. There are still pockets of the old America left, hurrah!