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Nature’s liquid gold

Food blogger Emma Galloway is teaming up with The True Honey Co. to spread word about manuka honey’s goodness.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

I couldn’t help but think of this old Māori proverb as we flew by helicopter from my hometown of Raglan, on a journey to ‘the bridge to nowhere’. Piloted by Jim McMillan, founder of The True Honey Co., we were heading deep into the remote back country of New Zealand. Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi whenua (land) to be precise, where the Whanganui River snakes through pristine native bush and also coincidently where my iwi (ancestors) are from. 

I’ve always had a sixth sense when it comes to people and I find myself drawn to the humble, honest types. So it was with great pleasure that I happened upon Jim and his team just as they were gearing up to launch their high-end manuka honey company to New Zealand, and the greater world. More than once during our day out in the bush he answered one of my questions by saying ‘I’m not an expert or anything’, before proceeding to astound me with his in-depth knowledge of natural ecosystems, agriculture and most importantly, bees. Humble to a tee. Having grown up in an alternative family, where organics and permaculture were givens not catch phrases, I joked with him that maybe he was a bit of a hippy at heart – after we talked at length about bringing balance back to our soils after years of intensive and often intrusive farming practices that put profit over people and the health of our environment. He laughed at that and said ‘you’re probably right’.

We live in an era where the only way forward is with our eyes wide open. There’s no time for complacency and we all need to do our bit to help Papatūānuku (the land) heal. Caring for our environment is paramount and seeing the steps The True Honey Co. have in place to ensure not only the health and welfare of their workers and bees, but also the work they’re doing to help restore our natural environment, leaving it a better place for our next generations, is to be respected. 

A manuka bush 

Manuka honey is something New Zealanders have probably taken for granted for far too long. Like many other things, it seems to be more revered overseas than it is here. But, through the work The True Honey Co. is doing alongside local landowners, local iwi and local schools (via the Garden to Table Trust) in education around the honey process, bee welfare and regeneration and all the work that goes into harvesting manuka honey, New Zealanders are starting to see the true value of this precious resource. I myself try to incorporate manuka honey into my diet every day. Mostly I treat it like a multivitamin and have a little spoonful after breakfast. But I also don’t need any excuse to add it into
my cooking.

Starting from a solid base of friendship, honesty and integrity, I’m excited to move forward with The True Honey Co. They’re my kind of people. After all, isn’t that the most important thing?

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