Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Survival Food Spotlight: Salt

The survival food spotlight will now shine on a product that is often blamed for maladies like causing high blood pressure, has never been given the proper credit for its importance to food preservation and taste enhancement and is a mineral so important that without it you will die...a painful death I might add. I am talking about...

Salt was so valuable in the past it was used as currency, wars have been fought over it, fables and fairy tales have had it play a central role in has been an important part of humanity for thousands and thousands of years.

Salt is a mineral that is mined and the common variety you are probably most familiar with is iodized salt which has a minute amount of potassium iodide (or something very similar) mixed into it in order to help avoid iodine deficiency in our bodies.

Everyone has probably heard the phrase, "He is not worth his salt." That originated from ancient Greece where slaves were actually traded for salt. That shows how important this mudane little mineral was at that point in history better than anything else I can offer you.

Salt (sodium) in the human body helps the body maintain the correct balance of water inside and outside the cells. The salt in your body keeps some the water outside of the cell and helps maintain this balance. When you have a salt defficiency you can develop a condition called Hyponatremia which is extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. The symptoms are nausea, disorientation and SEVERE muscle cramps which can cause your body to basically lock up. It is imperative that if you sweat a lot or drink a lot that there is some sort of salt intake (sodium) at some point or you can develop this condition.

There are many types of salt and I recommend you store some of each. I have Kosher salt, iodized salt, rock salt and pickling salt in my storage area. Iodized salt can be picked up for as little at 30 cents a pound! Salt stays very well and if stored properly and kept away from moisture will last almost indefinitely.

Let's see, salt makes food taste better as a seasoning, will help you preserve food, is needed by your body, has a fantastic shelf-life, is dirt cheap, is easy to store in quantity....hmmm what was the reason your weren't stockpiling some?

...that is all.

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  1. Yep, salt is going to be in high demand come SHTF. Very difficult to acquire it in many areas of the world and historically it has sometimes been worth more than its weight in gold.