Chef Shashank Agtey
We could all learn a thing or two from the work ethic of a honeybee. Small but mighty, this tiny
creature spends its entire life diligently working to protect and care for its colony and home. While tasks are divided throughout the colony, worker bees are dedicated to traveling from plant to plant to carefully collect and share its food source: pollen and nectar.
In doing so, bees effectively help pollinate a large percentage of flowers and plants that, without bees or other pollinating insects, would not be able to produce seeds or fruits. In fact, bees are responsible for pollinating over 75% of our flowering plants and nearly 75% of our crops. We owe them many thanks.
To put into perspective the commitment of a honeybee, it takes one working bee eight hours a day for one month to gather just one teaspoon dose of pollen. It is important to note that bee pollen is unable to be reproduced by humans as it contains powerful, so far unidentified, elements that can only be produced by bees.
Remarkably, there are additional benefits humans are able to reap from these dedicated insects which come in the form of bee pollen. Bee pollen is one of nature’s most nourishing foods.
It is approximately up to 40% protein, half of which is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used directly by the body. Bee pollen is also dense in vitamins, such as B-complex and folic acid.
Throughout the world, bee pollen is used to treat a variety of health problems including allergies, obesity, infertility, anemia, the common cold, and more. It contains properties that help keep bad bacteria in check, helps blood cells, improves endurance, extends longevity, regulates the intestines, and is also thought to have qualities that support cellular health. It is no wonder why many nutritionists and food experts continue to incorporate bee pollen into diets and health products.
Unfortunately, there is increasing evidence that populations of honeybees are declining. A variety of factors may be contributing to this, including habitat loss and disease from toxic pesticides. For all that the amazing bee is able to provide for us, we certainly should help protect its diminishing population. Ways we can do this include avoiding use of pesticides that are harmful to bees and investing in research on bees and pollination.
About the Author:Indian-born Shashank Agtey, also known as the Sidewalk Chef, is a culinary expert and athlete. Over the past 45 years Chef Agtey has held the position of executive chef at numerous establishments throughout South Florida and, through classes and seminars, has taught average home cooks how to prepare gourmet, healthy, and budget-friendly meals. Chef Agtey is dedicated to leading a healthy and active lifestyle and is an avid runner and competitor.
Fusing his passion for healthy eating and fitness, Chef Agtey recently developed an all-natural energy bar system, Hop Step Jump Energy Bars, made from five superfoods and nutrient-rich ingredients. As a prominent ingredient in all of its products, bee pollen naturally helps boost energy levels.
As a way to say thank you to the bees, Hop Step Jump Energy Bars partners with the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab to donate a portion of its proceeds directly to the lab’s research and education which aims to improve the health and productivity of honeybee colonies in Florida and globally.
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