If you check it out, you will see that there are at least three brands that now produce raw agave nectar. All three of those companies are VERY clear that they do NOT heat the stuff, while another Madhava, makes no such claims, so I would be wary of their product.
I also have a problem with the article link on living-foods.com. The latest reference is from 2002, and he also states there are 3 companies making agave nectar when there are at least 6 now, so I think it’s a bit dated.
The biggest red flag is that he lists studies showing how bad fructose is, while fructose is the naturally-occurring sugar in fruit. That tells me that in those studies that fructose was studied in isolation, or in huge quantities, or in an enzymeless condition which rendered it unable to easily break down into glucose, or any number of other possibilities.
He also suggests honey as an alternative, and honey is 38% fructose! This, right after telling us how bad fructose is (it’s not).
Sure, there is some processing involved to make agave nectar, but it’s done mechanically (enzymatically in the case of the one company), but not with heat, so a simple physical change might be taking place (moisture reduction), but not a chemical one (which would inactivate the enzymes).
Of course it would be great to make your own sweetener by soaking dates in water and blending (if you know the dates are sun-dried), but I spend enough time chopping as it is…
I’ve edited this post and apologize because it originally sounded rude & that wasn’t what I intended.
ecvraw – I’ve been there when honey is harvested, so I want to describe what I’ve seen. The bees do not have baby bees waiting for the honey. They store it. When the smoke comes, they go into their hive to take their honey to a new location to get away from what they perceive to be a threat to their home. The beekeeper I went with takes only PART of the bees’ hive (again, no baby bees) and leaves the rest there, and he puts new empty boxes on top whenever the lower ones get filled with honey, whether he’s harvesting or not, so the bees always have a home. Still, I never thought about how the bees would feel during the harvesting process, so I appreciate your bringing it up
Another FYI – I would not eat corn syrup, but apparently I would if I was a bee. An uncovered container of corn syrup, left outside, will empty as it is taken by honeybees back to their hives & stored along with their honey.
Humans have eaten honey (and kept bees) for decades, if not centuries, and the bees are just now starting to disappear.
Honey DOES have nutritional value; it has lots of magnesium at least.
My new thought – If I’m buying agave nectar that is processed (requiring more electricity than harvesting honey) and then shipped halfway around the world to get to me, isn’t that hurting the earth & environment (and therefore bees and every other animal) more than if I have bees in my back yard, grow lots of plants for them to forage from and then take only a part of their honey to eat?
Hi durianrider, honey is not refined sugar, but I agree we should be using fruits to sweeten. You can get really amazing exotic dates that are easy to find online. I ordered some Halawi, wondering how those will be.
durianrider, honey is very healthy and a healing medicinal sweetener. However, it’s cruel to the bees to take their food.