What is the most ethical vegan alternative to honey?

Honey is not vegan, and even for non-vegans, there are many ethical issues associated with the honey industry that may be leading us to want to cut down on our intake.

Luckily there are plenty of different plant-based honey alternatives to choose from. These are some common alternatives and what issues you might want to watch out for. With all these options it is important to choose an organic product so that you know that no bee-harming pesticides have been used in the process.

Vegan alternatives to honey

If you are UK based this seems like a good option as apples grow in the UK and are also popular a with pollinators. There are also plenty of recipes for making your own apple syrup and its not difficult to get hold of local, organic apples.

There are no hugely controversial issues with barley, so really its just about choosing an organic product from an ethical company - many wholefood shops will be able to help!

Most maple syrup comes from Canada, so depending where you live, this can mean lots of food miles. Harvesting the sap from maple trees does not appear to cause any damage to the trees.

Some suggest that the industry has a positive impact in terms of climate change because it gives a value to maple forests that ensure against deforestation.

As our shopping guide to rice explains, rice has a very high climate impact compared to other crops, so it makes sense to avoid it if you can, especially when there are plenty of other options available.

This is probably one to avoid – due to increasing demand and the years it takes before you can harvest the nectar, large areas of land, mainly in Mexico, are needed to cultivate it.

Unsurprisingly, this has led to yet another mono-crop, not so good for bees and other pollinators. Its also not very healthy due to its high fructose content.

For more information on pollinators and honey, please see the links below.

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