#830 Salt

Shake it like a Polaroid picture

You’re here because of salt.

Honestly, according to our egghead pals at Wikipedia, salt’s ability to preserve food was a foundation of civilization. People figured out that they could take their food with them, and skipped town with a lunch bag to see what was over the hills. Salt affected where roads were built, cities were constructed, and kingdoms flourished.

Get this: during the Roman Empire, caravans of up to 40,000 camels would mosey 400 odd miles through the Sahara desert to bring salt to the market because it was so valuable. In the 1500s, a vast Polish empire rose because of the salt mines there — like the Dubai of 500 years ago — but then was wiped out as soon as Germans figured out how to make sea salt instead. Salt caused wars and ended them — with armies salting the Earth before they left and really messing up their gardens.

And they would walk 500 miles

Yes, salt was so valuable that it was used as currency, with even the word salary derived from the Latin word salanium which means money given to soldiers so they could buy salt.

These days, salt costs a dollar and is available everywhere salt is sold. Sure, we’ve dumped it on dusty shelves at the back of the grocery store and preached about its devastating health effects in fitness magazines, but let me just say — straight up — that nothing can take away salt’s mojo, bro.

And that’s fo’ sho’.

Because here we go:

why-you-should-eat-iodine5.The lady, she brings the iodine. Health organizations suggest sucking back 150 micrograms of iodine a day to keep fit and have fun. Unless you’re eating a lot of seaweed or fresh fish, the best way to pick this up is iodized salt. Sadly, the World Health Organization said in 2007 that over two billion people have iodine deficiency, which results in thick goiters on your neck and stunted physical and mental growth. … Not awesome.

4. Taste the rainbow. Have you ever tossed salt in a stir-fry of bland vegetables? Buddy, now you’re talking. When you add salt, the flavors all have a coming out party to celebrate. Plus, thanks to salt’s powers of preservation, you can enjoy your food long after harvest.

3. Fights ice real nice. Those of us from cold climates know ice patches on roads and sidewalks are slippery deathtraps. But good ol’ salt, always there, always ready, cracks and busts up those deathsheets without hesitation.

2. It’s dirt cheap. Nope, nobody will be getting top dollar for a bag of salt at market anymore. Nowadays a handful of warm quarters will get you a year’s supply of the stuff.

1. Never quits its day job. Even though it probably could. See, salt has a host of other uses. You gargle with it to help a sore throat and toss it in a pot of spaghetti to prevent the noodles from sticking. Big companies use salt to set dyes, keep things dry, and produce soaps and shampoos. Plus, if you’ve ever had a giant leech sucking on your neck, you know that tossing some salt in its face usually gets the job done.

Yup, life sure would be bland without salt. So people, please: if you have a moment, just sit back and remember that salt’s come a long way to be here today.

And we sure have come a long way because of it.



Photos from: here, here, here, and here

32 thoughts on “#830 Salt

  1. Thanks for this post. It will make me appreciate the salt shaker on my table a little bit more. I’ve always been more of a pepper guy myself, and always treated the salt shaker as the red-headed stepchild of the table top seasonings.

    But after this, I’ll give it a little nod of thanks as I sprinkle a bit on my eggs, and a little over my left shoulder for luck. Not too much though – you don’t want to waste that good stuff!

  2. Don’t forget–it makes those nasty snails and slugs foam up before they die of dehydration. Awesome!

    1. Even if it lowers the boiling point it will not make the water heat faster, it will just boil at a lower temperature.

      1. hence making it boil faster as water heats up to boil and it has to hit a lower temp before a higher one

    2. no, salt raises the boiling temperature of water, making it take longer to boil, but things cook faster because the water is hotter, so it can be wothrwhile

  3. Salt raises the boiling point, cooking food faster, actually:P

    Also, Sugar works just like salt for deicing roads. Better for the environment too!

  4. God I LOVE salt!! Would have a salt lick in my bedroom if hubby would let me. I know it’s bad for you in the amounts that I eat it in….tried that yucky Mrs. Dash and no comparision. My fave is Micky D’s fries with extra salt, and ketchup with more salt mixed in. I need help….is there a 12 step program? Over-Salters Anonymous?

  5. Ah… salt… a little Na+. Good stuff.

    Great catch on the iodine element. It’s a little like the fluoride in our drinking water… seems we’re making healthier and healthier choices in life but maybe forgetting some seemingly small elements. With so much of the “natural” salts, the whole foods organics it may be our kids are missing the iodine wagon.. oops!


  6. About 20 years ago, I salted a slug on the back patio to see what would happen to it.

    I felt guilty about that for nigh on two years.

    And now that I just thought of that event, I feel guilty once again.

  7. I agree that salt is a good thing….but you said that not enough will cause goiters in your neck…that’s only if you have hyperthyroidism…but if you have hypothyroidism and you eat too much iodine it can happen too….
    but i do love when you watch a new batch of fries come up at McD’s and see them put a ton of salt on them…..yyyyyuuummmm…

  8. And it turns big fat slugs colours of the rainbow!

    I’m getting old, time to build a “sea-salt fountain of youth”.
    Thanks again! You’re amazing!

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