Today we’d like to introduce you to Tim Brod.
Hi Tim, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was one of those kids who grew up catching all kinds of bugs in glass jars, had more pets and critters than anyone else I knew. I was always fascinated by the honey bees. Their hive structure was intriguing. They have these short and intense lives, and of course, the potential of honey! In the 70’s, keeping bees alive was very simple. If you were willing to work hard, learn to understand bees, you were rewarded with not just a wealth of good bee stings but the elixir of honey. After I finished high school, I started traveling the world. Because I knew bees so well, I always found work. I had the opportunity to experience different forms of agriculture throughout Europe and the Middle East. Since returning to the United States, I was overall appalled by our food system and the honey being sold in stores. Having grown up around bees, I know what real unadulterated honey tastes like, looks like and the health benefits it contains. In America, we have little to no oversight on honey. Words like raw, unheated, unfiltered, and even local, really translate into please give me your money. The vast majority of honey sold here has been heated and filtered to suppress the crystallization of the honey.
By adulterating honey in this manor, we sacrifice taste, nutritive value and an experience of real honey. With the over sweetening of America, the lack of labeling oversight, we have turned honey into a cheap commodity, devoid of character, depth of taste, and full health benefits. Most honey sold is a mysterious liquid sweet nonsense that has little relation to truly unadulterated honey. There is no greater symbol of sustainability than the honey bee. They are a current and historic icon of health. Since bees starting dying in massive waves in the early 2000’s, it has galvanized many people into thinking about our natural world. Many people’s relationship with the natural world is a perfect lawn, unfettered use of resources and complaining about the pesticide companies. And, while I believe these companies are evil, the real problem, the elephant in the room is us. All of us, not just the denizens of Colorado, but worldwide, have to realize all our decisions, in how we spend our money, the food we consume, the plastics we use, the artificial adulterated honey we buy, have a major impact on our environment. People need to be reminded of how important the decisions are that we make. One of my missions as a beekeeper and an environmentalist is to introduce people to high quality unadulterated honey. When you eat my honey or any true honey, it will change you. It will help you reflect upon the food you eat and possibly, make you a little sad. Real honey is magical, not some cheap product in a squeeze bottle that has been superheated for show and ease of use to support a super sugarized society. As awareness grows on the health benefits of honey and on the plight of the declining honey bee, consumer demand for honey is growing. Overall this is very good. But without education, the consumer public primarily buys cheap, inexpensive runny honey. This low viscous product, in most cases is minimally superheated honey and most probably honey that has been adulterated.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
One of the biggest obstacles is education. Honey has been turned into a very cheap adulterated product. Most people do not know what real honey tastes like and will shop honey solely by price point. The vast majority of honey sold is neither raw, unheated or unadulterated. Environmentally, we are losing our biodiversity at a rate not seen since the asteroid slammed into the earth 65 million years ago and annihilated 75% of species. We are all on a serious precision, and unless people embrace the importance of their decisions, life will be very different!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Owner operator of Highland Honey. Producer of creamed honey, bees, and education.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
The silver lining of Covid -19 is many people are taking a harder look at their food systems. We are not getting much leadership in adjusting our food safety issues. Personally, it has helped me redouble all my environmental education for my community.
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