I've been eying the weather channel a lot lately. Not for the temperature, but for the pollen count, which apparently will begin an upward march as soon as the mercury begins to wane and the fall allergy season kicks off. Allergies aren't good for food critics, as you might have heard.
I've never had a problem with histamines. If it were edible, I'd probably be making ragweed salads with a dusting of oak pollen as I laughed in the face of a malady I don't understand. But I'm starting to worry. Every time I make a joke about Texas allergies, faces shift. The tone in the room becomes more somber. People tell me I've never seen pollen like this before. I'm getting scared.
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Honey producers respond to my fear by cheering the homeopathic properties of local honey all over their marketing materials. North Dallas Honey is a local honey producer that makes such claims. Their web site has a cut-and-paste from a Discovery Fit and Health web page. What they fail to cut and paste from the same article is an important fact:
There have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies that have conclusively proven whether honey actually reduces allergies.
A double-blind trial won't change the immunization properties of honey. If it works, it works. A formal study would, however, firm up the claims that a lot of producers are simply leveraging to sell more of their products. Thankfully honey is pretty cheap, and I'm willing to gamble on the health claims if only because it's tasty. My only problem is finding the most fun way to take my daily dosage.
Should I spread bread with butter, before a healthy honey drizzle? Or should more stoically stir a bit into a cup of green tea? Or maybe a young, slightly sexier Mary Poppins look-a-like will administer my daily dose directly from a spoon. She could even whistle that ridiculous tune. Whatever she wants, as long as it keeps my tastebuds alive and well.