In a world where the bee population is declining, people are concerned about their sweet honey more than ever. Because of this concern, we’re all buying honey that’s better for the environment, and not just the one that comes in a cute bear bottle. But what is the difference between raw honey vs organic honey?

Buying honey at the grocery store has gotten a little hard. Is there anything on the label that we should be looking for? Is one type of honey healthier than the other? We’re here to answer all your questions, bee-cause we care. 

Raw Honey

tea, honey, sweet
Jina Kim

Raw honey is described as honey “as it exists in the beehive.” The honey was obtained by extraction, settling, or straining. Most importantly, the honey hasn’t been heated past pasteurization, which is usually around 95 degrees.

Raw honey can be processed by straining it so that little bits of beeswax and bee body parts are removed. This makes the honey have a more liquid consistency, and as long as it isn’t overheated, it remains nutritious. 

Organic Honey

Tatum Kelly

Honey that is labeled as organic according to the USDA was made from a bee farm that follows the organic livestock standards. These standards state that the hives must be free of chemicals or located far away from any present. Also, the flowers that the bees will be getting nectar from cannot be sprayed with chemicals and the bees cannot be given antibiotics.

Organic honey is also strained and not heated beyond pasteurization. 


Both raw and organic honey naturally are thick and opaque, especially compared to the transparent honey that typically comes in a bear-shaped bottle. Raw and organic honey have a cloudy yellow color because they have not been heated as much as regular honey.

While the heating process helps liquefy the honey so it is easier to use, it strips the honey of its natural benefits. This is why it's crucial that raw and organic honey are not over heated. 


Naturally, honey has some serious benefits. Rich in vitamins such as Vitamin C, B6, and thiamin and minerals like calcium, iron, and copper, honey is a nutritious addition to your food. Raw and organic honey are both rich in antioxidants and have antibacterial properties as well.

Raw honey specifically becomes alkaline in the digestive system and helps counteract acid indigestion. Honey has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, making it a sweet substitute, especially if it’s raw or organic.

The Problem

While raw and organic honey have their own guidelines to make them different from each other, there is a problem: the label. There are no strict legal requirements for labeling honey as raw or organic. Honey can be labeled as being raw or organic without these strict requirements because bee farmers understand the beneficial process of making both types, and follow them anyway.

So, when it comes to your grocery shopping, raw or organic honey are both great choices compared to the thinner honey that has been pasteurized. 

Finally, all the buzz about raw honey vs organic honey has come to an end. While very similar, there are some minor differences that separate raw from organic honey. But since there aren’t any legal guidelines distinguishing the two, both are pretty sweet additions to your grocery cart.