Honey, I Shrunk The List (of safe foods)

Greetings Ninjas in training!

This week has been an exciting one.  Ninjas have spinny-twirl-kicked their way into my inbox with many questions: are B vitamins a good secret weapon? is this food safe for ninjas? will you marry me?

All of these questions shall be answered on this blog in the near future.  For today, we’ll turn our attention to an important change in the “safe foods” list, courtesy of an awesome person who shall henceforth be known as Honey Ninja.

winnie_the_poohThis is not a picture of Honey Ninja, who wrote to me a couple of days ago to let me know that one of the “safe” foods does have citric acid; it put them out of commission!  I thought this was odd, because I had researched honey about 5 years ago, after I had a bad reaction to a cereal containing it.  I searched far and wide, and found no evidence of honey containing citric acid naturally.  Figuring I must just have a separate honey allergy, I stopped eating it.  I wondered if this was the case with Honey Ninja, but nevertheless, I decided to scour the internet once more for any hint that honey might be unsafe, even in its purest form.

Welp, no need for scouring: this time, the first freaking thing on Google told me that honey has citric acid in it.

 photo rachelwut.gif

What??? Okay, so, information obtained from the internet in the days when Facebook was only for college kids and everyone still used AIM is not necessarily the best information.

So here is the good information: honey does contain a very small amount of citric acid.  This study says, on average, it contains 0.019g citric acid per 100g honey.  Depending on the type of honey, it can range from 0.004g to 0.08g, which is on the same order as lettuce, and falls under the “very low” citric acid category of “the list“.

In other words, the amount of citric acid in honey is pretty dang small, and would not cause a reaction in 99% of ninjas.  (I react to lettuce, so I would probably be one of those ninjas!)

If you find you don’t get along with honey, here are a few things to consider about why that may be the case.  Either:

(a) Your tolerance is obscenely small and you should keep a wary eye on all foods in the universe;
(b) The honey you ate had citric acid added to it.  This seems to be common practice, and if you live in the U.S. or somewhere equally lame, chances are this won’t be on the label;
or (c) There is something else in the honey that, combined with the citric acid, made your body decide it would be fun to try to kill you.

Option (c) is something my allergist refers to as an “allergy sprain.”  When you sprain your ankle, little things that typically go unnoticed, like catching your toe on a step, can really freaking hurt.  If there is something else in honey your body doesn’t like (which is quite likely, as honey is highly allergenic on its own), combining that with the very small amount of citric acid in there (which may not bother you otherwise) is akin to spraining your ankle (honey), and then immediately stubbing your toe (citric acid).  Instead of that tiny amount of citric acid stubbing your toe, bugging the crap out of you for awhile, and then going on its merry way, you end up tripping and falling, breaking your hip and several ribs, and hitting your head and getting a concussion.

Or you end up like that guy.

That’s all for now.  Until next time, when life gives you lemons, (and maybe honey), RUN!!!
The Lemon Ninja

1 thought on “Honey, I Shrunk The List (of safe foods)

  1. I wanted to add to this that I have found Propolis to bee an issue as well. Personally comparing honey to propolis, the reaction to honey is not as concerning for me. Of course when I tried honey I had probably 1/2 a teaspoon, the propolis was a lollipop and after a few licks I put it away and contacted the company to see if they knew any other offenders I may have over looked. Didn’t find anything else in the lollipop I should react to so I would say at a minimum if you have a low tolerance or know honey is not ok for you I would be cautious about propolis as well. Of course this is using my body as a gauge and I have no numbers to offer for better info, but maybe someone can pick up here where I am leaving off.

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