Vaughn Bryant loves to drizzle a little honey into his cereal. He’s not alone—the average American slurps some 20 ounces of the stuff a year. But Bryant’s passion goes deeper. The Texas A&M anthropology prof moonlights as a honey detective, helping keep counterfeit product off the market.
The honey trade has developed a top-shelf segment, with connoisseurs paying hefty premiums for certain makers and regions of origin. Sidr honey, made from the nectar of jujube trees in Yemen, can cost $50 a jar (about 10 times more per ounce than that stuff in bear-shaped bottles). Such prices have contributed to widespread honey fraud.