“In both the popular imagination and ad campaigns, honey is the epitome of a wild food. After all, bees can’t be herded and overfed like cattle, or immobilized like broiler chickens if they are to continue making the sweet substance. As reported here last year, bees are “a key to global food security” due to their critical importance in food chains worldwide. In fact, honey seems to be a bellwether of global food insecurities.
The “wild” nature of even cultivated honey is both one of its major selling points and the source of many of its problems. A Guardian articlerecently reported that a European Union court on September 6 ruled that honey containing traces of pollen from genetically modified (GM) corn must also be labeled as GM produce. The ruling comes as a result of beekeepers in Germany discovering traces of corn pollen from a nearby field of Monsanto corn crops. The nature of bee biology and honey production throw the current discourse surrounding globalization and its effect on the permeability of local and global boundaries in a more literal light. After all, bees can’t be herded according to national borders. Continue reading