Vegans making honey without bees

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"As a vegan myself, I definitely miss consuming honey," says Darko Mandich, co-founder and chief executive of MeliBio, wistfully.
It's not unusual for vegans to miss certain foods. What is unusual, though, is Mr Mandich's solution: to create a type of honey, identical to the natural kind in every molecule, but produced without involving any bees at all.
"When you look at honey and how it's made, it starts with bees collecting pollen and nectar from the flowers and then converting that into the building blocks of honey, which are fructose and glucose," he says.
"We are simulating that in the lab, using micro-organisms which do the work of building the initial blocks of honey."

 
85
109
Hamilton
Experience
Researcher
I call bull turds - there's no way this product can be identical to real honey on the molecular scale.

Honey contains tens of thousands of different compounds assimilated together from dozens of different plants, and processed and converted by bees into other compounds. It has antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and heaps of goodies. How are they going to mimic that in a laboratory? With extreme difficulty I'd say.

They might be producing a sugary goop that looks a bit like honey, but it doubt it will even come close to the real thing for a very long time.
 
3,395
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Hawkes Bay
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I would have thought that there was enough fake honey in the world without adding to the stockpile.
Also if it is unethical to eat honey then surely it is unethical to eat the fruits and seeds that are pollinated by those poor exploited bees.
 
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NickWallingford

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Tauranga
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Some time back, maybe the 1950s?, there was some published 'research' describing feeding flavoured sugar solutions to miniature colonies in a lab. Lo and behold, they stored this stuff, and it could be 'harvested'. The researchers really thought they were on to something - I recall something about chocolate honey...
 

Sailabee

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North Auckland
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The fact that vegans and vegetarians spent so much time creating fake food of various sorts to look/taste like the real thing would seem to be because their body is persistently reminding them there is a deficit or need suggesting that some things bodies simply recognise as providing required forms of nutrition.
 

Dave Black

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Well I can't talk about vegans - they're altogether a bit different, but I do talk to vegetarians. One of the things they contend with is the expectations of everyone else, so sometimes they eat 'burgers' (however constructed), or whatever, because everyone else thinks that's 'normal'. Peer pressure; weird huh!
 

tommy dave

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mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
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just don't call it honey, call it honey substitute, no issue there.
Similar with meat substitutes that resemble meat, fair enough. Produce them, put them to market, let the market decide.

I like eating both meat and honey. If I developed an allergy to eating them for whatever reason, i'd look for a substitute.
I stopped eating white meat about 25 years ago due to ethical concerns, that's evolved for me and I'll now eat chicken and pork from some producers. But my situation then isn't that different to that of some now.

edit: some producers AND hunted wild pork
 

Mummzie

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"Lemon sweet spread" ?.................. Nah! Just doesn't do it.
Even the more modern "Lemon Curd" doesn't taste as good as the Lemon "Honey" I make with only Sugar/eggs/butter/lemons from a 70+ year old recipe.
 


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