Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Salt-Nutrition & A Bit of History

In the US, the consumption of sodium is on an average about 3 grams a day, corresponding to the ingestion of 7-8 grams of salt. A certain amount of salt must be incorporated daily in our diet, not only because it is very rapidly eliminated by our organism and also because it enhances the taste of our food. It is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives (and used to preserve Egyptian mummies as well).

Salt was in general use long before history, as we know it, began to be recorded. Some 2,700 years B.C.-about 4,700 years ago-there was published in China the Peng-Tzao-Kan-Mu, probably the earliest known treatise on pharmacology. A major portion of this writing was devoted to a discussion of more than 40 kinds of salt, including descriptions of two methods of extracting salt and putting it in usable form that are amazingly similar to processes used today. Chinese folklore recounts the discovery of salt. Salt production has been important in China for two millennia or more. And the Chinese, like many other governments over time, realizing that everyone needed to consume salt, made salt taxes a major revenue source. Nomads spreading westward were known to carry salt. Egyptian art from 1450 B.C. records salt making.

As I have been researching salt lately, I found this GREAT website that answered most of my questions on the subject. Most of the above history report was taken from this website. There are beautiful photos of each type of salt and it lists each salts appropriate use. The website has a shop to buy the salts shown. I am interested in trying the following: Hawaiian Sea Salt, Black Salt and Smoked Sea Salt. My intent was to provide a salt reference guide to Fer Food readers but here it is completed and illustrated. What a great find!



Anonymous douglas said...

nice find on the salt website!

3:26 PM  

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