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Eat: Photoessay

By Christine Pemberton

Can you think of many foods that have been written about and extolled in the ancient religious texts of 3 of the world’s major religons?
Ayurveda and the Bhagwad Gita, the Bible, the Koran - they all recommend and advocate the regular use of…honey.
Yes, indeed. Honey, that most delicious of foods, now has the weight of centuries of recommendation to add to its many attributes.

Date Published: 22nd September 2017

Societe Naturelle: Jar of honey and bees

We all know where honey comes from, don’t we?
Or do we?
Produced in the honey sacs of bees from the nectar of flowers, the flavour and colour are determined by the flowers from which the nectar is gathered.

Societe Naturelle: Rows of beehives

In a world increasingly buffetted by pesticides and chemicals, there is a growing movement away from everything that is artificial - be it refined sugar or chemical additices - towards the organic and the natural. A young Indian company took this route and thus Société Naturelle was born, sourcing and selling 100% organically produced honey.

Societe Naturelle: Beekeeper with hive

"We self-audit ourselves to do better for society and the eco-system."
With that mantra, Société Naturelle is spearheading much of the movement towards offering the Indian consumer honey & honey-based products that are free from all antibiotics and harmful pesticides.

Societe Naturelle: Preet Singh and Colleague

Bring Home Stories chatted to Preet Singh, one of the founders of the company.
Preet told us “We currently have 542 bee colonies or bee boxes as they are commonly known, of our own. This helps us procure more than 85% of our requirements. The remainder is collected from contract farmers who have been involved and associated with us for best beekeeping practices- such as no sugar feed to bees.”

Societe Naturelle: Acacia Honey

No sugar fed bees?
We were curious.
“Sugar syrup/solution mixed with water is commonly given to bees by beekeepers, so they can collect the honey and bees can eat sugar.”
And?

Societe Naturelle: Beekeeper and Hives

Preet explained why bees should not be fed sugar. There are 2 main reasons:
1. “Bees have a tendency similar to humans for saving- so they store their food for later and they will consume some sugar and store the rest in the apiary. When the “honey” is extracted from the beehive, there will, of course, be sugar mixed in it at that point.
2. Sugar is not a natural food and does not possess the same nutritional value as honey. This leads to weaker “colonies”, the whole hive becomes weaker & more susceptible to disease.” So sugar is literally bad for the bees.

Societe Naturelle: Forest and Plants

Société Naturelle collects honey from bee colonies all over northern India – from Rajasthan to Kashmir. Throughout the year they travel constantly, collecting whatever honey is available in different areas and at different seasons, when specific flowers are in bloom.

Societe Naturelle: Hives and forest

From initially offering just one type of honey when the company started, there is now a delicious sounding range of honeys available - forest, acacia, eucalyptus, mustard, jamun, litchi and raw honey. Société Naturelle is the first Indian company to offer raw honey - honey which is not processed and has come straight from the honeycomb into the bottle.

Societe Naturelle: Honey on oats

Honeys from different parts of India and different flora all come with a distinct taste, colour and properties. Société Naturelle is spreading its wings and introducing new honey-related products to the Indian consumer, such as handmade herbal soaps, handmade honey soap and bee pollen. And, with their avowed commitment to healthy living, they make 100% natural beeswax candles which are the only candles that emit negative ions to purify, cleanse, and improve air quality.

Societe Naturelle: Field of Hives

Healthy, delicious, packed with natural goodness, and positively good for the environment - this “naturelle” honey is here to stay, as urban India increasingly embraces the “naturelle” way.


 

 

 

 

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