Did You Just Buy Fake Manuka Honey? + Other Stories

avatarLauren Fellows

Welcome to our “Weekly Wellness Report”, where PaleoHacks editors editors fill you in on illuminating health and wellness news.

This week, we’ll explore the complexities surrounding the authenticity of manuka honey, feel relief at the knowledge that the flu is a little less pervasive this year, and marvel at the way millennials are finding new ways to digitize their health care. We’ll also take a sneak peek at a new photography book featured in Outside that challenges our relationship with Mother Nature.

Lauren the health editor here! After we published this fun article on the amazing powers of manuka honey and its ability to fight infections and heal the body, I decided I needed to get my hands on some before the winter ended. As I was checking out with my prized and well-priced purchase at Trader Joe’s, the clerk asked me with a shake of his head if I’d heard about how they were sued recently for the honey’s lack of purity.

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Wait, what? Did I just buy fake manuka honey?

Indeed, a class action lawsuit filed over the summer was reported by Bloomberg alleging that Trader Joe’s manuka honey was only clocking in at a mere 62.6 percent purity. However, ABC News says that Trader Joe’s was actually one of the few brands to pass an authentication test that took place in New Zealand, the land of the native manuka bush.


So, what’s the verdict? Since Trader Joe’s is discontinuing their manuka honey as soon as they run out of supplies anyway, we think you might as well grab a jar for that amazing price of $13.99. Whether or not it’s 100% pure, it still has a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10, which means it has enough antibacterial benefits to make it worth your while.

Even if you can’t score some of that immune-boosting power honey, the good news is that the flu is not nearly as bad as it was last year. According to Time, this year’s flu strain is both less severe and more easily targeted by the flu shot. In 2017-2018, the efficacy of the shot was only estimated to be about 36 percent! We’re grateful for a milder flu season, with fewer illnesses and only about a quarter of the deaths we saw last year. But if you’re still on the fence, speak to your doctor on the best options to protect you and your family.

And yes, we’re looking at you too, millennials. Fortune says that Generation Y is less likely to go to the doctor than the older generations, with many forgoing a primary care doctor. Advancements in telemedicine are driving much of this change, with over half of participants saying they prefer test results delivered straight to their phones and automatic prescription refills to traditional in-person visits. While we certainly understand the disillusionment with the status quo of health care, the truth is you can’t expect to get a full diagnosis by text message – yet.


But before you assume that millennials are just on the hunt for convenience over quality, consider that this generation is more likely to try holistic approaches, like acupuncture and yoga, than their elders. We’re definitely on board with taking your health into your own hands with natural practices that keep you healthy in between visits. Plus, yoga is great for fixing anything from bloating and stomachaches to joint pain and even adrenal fatigue, and can help us tune in to ourselves.

As humans living in today’s fast-paced world, we have a pretty complicated relationship with ourselves and nature. A new photography book described in Outside aims to show us that even though most of us spend 93 percent of our life indoors (yikes), we can still foster intimate relationships with the great outdoors.

One breathtaking photo, in particular, features a woman sitting atop a beautiful rocky terrain, with electrodes attached to her head. The University of Utah is currently conducting a study to investigate how spending time outdoors might affect our cognition. They are gathering data by using an EEG cap and facial electrodes to record the brain activity of participants in wild areas.

In another photo, we see a tiny device that measures the air quality near a volcano in Hawaii – a site that has recorded some of the highest atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on earth. The photographer mentions that all these scientists are facing budget cuts under the current administration.

As we wrap up another edition of the Weekly Wellness Report, we implore you to stay healthy with a combination of manuka honey and regular checkups with your primary doctor. We also suggest you take some time out for yourself with a bit of yoga or a simple nature walk to rebalance and re-energize. Until next time!

Your friend,
Lauren, Health & Lifestyle Editor

(More Great Reads: Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? + Other Stories)

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