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Honey Category at 2016 GFA

I was recently pointed to the Heritage Radio Network and their coverage of the 2016 Good Food Awards. which includes Carlo Petrini’s inspiring keynote and Sarah Wiener’s excellent closing remarks.

Deserving of special mention on this blog is Beth Conrey’s address on behalf of the honey category. A winner herself for Bee Squared Apiaries Rose Honey, Beth’s spot-on speech recognized the marvelousness of the honey bee, the state of honey in the U.S. and what actually makes the food produced by the honey category winners‘ “good.” Have a listen to her speech or read it below (shared with Beth’s permission).

Bees have been revered throughout human history because of their ability to produce honey—the nectar of the gods! The sound of humming bees is synonymous with tranquility and productivity. Every farm used to have a hive or two. But conventional agriculture was replaced by industrialized agriculture and with industrialized agriculture came industrialized apiculture. Pollination—especially almond pollination—became king and honey was no longer the primary source of pride and income for beekeepers.

The honey bee became just another form of livestock and the public became afraid of the most beneficial insect on the planet. The honey itself became “genericized” through the homogenization of varietals, pasteurization to improve the shelf life of the only food product on the planet without one, and ultra filtration to remove evidence of point of origin so that honey from countries with lower costs of production can enter the market without being traced by their pollens. Much honey, indeed all cheap honey, is not even honey at all as there is no national standard of identity for it. Honey is simply called honey. But all honey is not equal. The apiaries represented here this evening embody this higher standard of production and animal care. Their websites are dotted with adjectives that make your mouth water: exquisite, raw, delicious, artisanal, sustainably-harvested, treatment–free, unadulterated, local, pure, unpasteurized.

These beekeepers have revived varietal honey. I urge each and every one of you to taste the honey from each and every one of us so that your palate will learn and appreciate the varietals we produce: buckwheat, saw palmetto, quince, wildflower, clover, sage, mesquite and orange blossom to name just a few. These honeys all taste like the flowers that produced the nectar that the bees collected. And none of them taste like any other of them or like what you find on the shelf at a national grocer. These beekeepers are stewards of their insects but they do not stop there. Many of them are also active in their regional and national associations and generously share their beekeeping knowledge and passion within these organizations and with the general public.

I encourage all of you to:

B-e- e supportive of our efforts with your purchases.
B-e- e considerate. Plant flowers for pollinators and cease pesticide use.
B-e- e the change you want to see in global food production and consumption.

Thank you.

There is also an excellent TEDxCSU Talk by Beth entitled, BEE-have so we can BEE-have, which is worth a watch/listen.

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Winner at Good Food Awards

Good Food Awards Finalist Seal 2016Two Million Blooms, winner of a 2016 Good Food Awards Two Million Blooms is thrilled to be recognized as a winner of the 2016 Good Food Awards.

After receiving top scores in the Blind Tasting in September followed by a rigorous vetting process to verify we met the sustainability and social responsibility criteria, our raw honey emerged as one of only 14 winners in the honey category.

This year’s competition received 1,937 submissions from 33 states. There were 242 winners across 13 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, confections, coffee, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves, oils and spirits.

We were fortunate enough to attend the Good Food Awards ceremony (described as the ‘Golden Globes of craft food’) on Friday along with 800 other farmers, chefs, journalists, and activists to celebrate the exceptional food crafters.

We were especially inspired by Slow Food visionary and founder, Carlo Petrini, who traveled from Italy to deliver the opening remarks. And who could forget the food and drinks (with the winning products) at the following reception? To describe them as merely ‘good’ would be a incredible understatement.

About the Good Food Awards
The Good Food Awards is the first national initiative to recognize food producers based on both taste and sustainability criteria. The Awards distinguish food producers committed to strengthening the sustainable food industry through the creation of ‘tasty, authentic, and responsible’ foods.

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Good Food Awards Finalist

Good Food Awards Finalist Seal 2016
Two Million Blooms has just been named a 2016 Good Food Awards Finalist. We are honored to be recognized by this prestigious craft food competition.

Our raw honey distinguished itself through a Blind Tasting event followed by a rigorous vetting to confirm that it meets or exceeds the Good Food Awards standards around sustainability, production and social responsibility practices.

This year, 263 finalists were chosen among 1,937 entries in 13 different categories. In the honey category, 24 products were selected as finalists in the following subcategories: Liquid or Naturally Crystallized Honey, Creamed Honey, Comb Honey, and Infused Honey.

Winners will be announced Friday, January 15, 2016, at a gala Awards Ceremony at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture in San Francisco, California. Opening remarks will be delivered by the father of the food movement, Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini. Medals will be bestowed by renowned chef and activist Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and organics pioneer Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics.