The Salt of the EARTH

When we are writing blogs, we run across some interesting tidbits. These tidbits can trigger an “I want to know more about that.” That is how I come to write this blog on salt and its origin. I wanted to know why it was considered so valuable? Why was it utilized as a payment method? Now I have thought of another idea to write a blog. What are all the payment methods ever used? Maybe, this would be a big undertaking, but an interesting one. 

DEFINITION OF SALT

 a crystalline compound, sodium chloride, NaCl, occurring as a mineral, a constituent of seawater, etc., and used for seasoning food, as a preservative, etc. (This definition is from Dictionary.com.)

HOW OUR FAMILY USED SALT

Having experienced the use of salt, I can say we were in a briny situation. My father used salt to cure meats and keep them from going rancid and to preserving them for months, especially hams. My sisters and I would help him pack as much salt on to the pork as we could and then hang them in the curing house to cure (to dry). We had to resalt several times; this is the way he would preserve our meat. We made sausage as well as other items from the pork. My aunt would help my mother to can the sausage by packing it in jars. I think about the sausage even today and how good it was.  

We also used salt in the canning of the vegetables. There were many shelves in the building where the canned goods were stored. During the canning season, they would all be full. To a child, this was a wondrous place with such a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits stored there. We would put salt onto the item packed in the jar, and then pour good clean water over them, preparing them for processing in the canners. 

I love pickles, so I would make my own, soaking them in briny saltwater for days and sometimes weeks. I would make bread and butter, style pickles, also sweet and dill slices. There was much work involved, but well worth the effort. There was a value of salt for our family.

SALT A GOOD SOURCE OF MINERALS

Humans and animals need salt and minerals derived from it. I know when my potassium drops, I crave salty things because I need what is in salt to restore my minerals and balance my electrolytes. The hospitals give us a saline solution in IV drip when you go into hospital with heart issues, as they did for my husband when he was in many times. This was to keep his potassium and electrolytes at a safe level. The potassium helps to keep our fluid in balance.

My father would put saltlicks out for the animals, in that time, natural, unprocessed salt. So salt was and is a precious and needed asset.

Businesses that process and market salt

There are several places in the United States where companies harvest the salt. I know of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and Belle Isle in Louisiana. Other sites are Michigan, Texas, New York, Ohio. The majority of salt comes from the ocean. Some come from salt mines like gold. Several companies have processing plants, and make many forms of salt, and sell it to a variety of businesses.

Every year there are approximately 250 million tons of salt produced. The United States and China produce forty percent.

Some of the type businesses who purchase and use salts

Spas, Cannieries, Bakeries, Cheese factories, Meat processors, Pharmaceutical companies, and Towns and Cities use salt on roadways before snow or ice storms. Plastic producers use salt in their basic mixture. Paper Companies use it in making pulp.

A few known uses for salt

There are 14,000 uses for salt, according to the Salt Works Company. I will not list them all here, but will refer to a few we have used: putting out stove fires, scrubbing pots and pans, mother had us, children, to gargle with salt water when we had a sore throat, and we still do in this day and time when needed. I would dye clothes in a vat or large pot of hot dye water, and when the fabric was the shade I wanted, I would remove from the hot water into a tub or pan of cold salt water to set the dye. Good memories.

In ancient times salt was used as a means of bartering, as I stated in another blog, “The Barter System,” And how the Romans used salt to compensate their soldiers. The word salt came to mean soldiers and evolved into salary.

The Nomads of Ethiopia are known to use salt as money even today.

In the sixth century, the Moores traded an ounce of gold for an ounce of salt. Some places made coins from salt. They were called amoles.

In the bible, salt is mention numerous times, indicating the great value and worth of salt. It applied to humanity, in describing the quality of a being. Some other sayings I remember, You are the salt of the earth, You are worth your salt, or he is worth his salt, meaning they were creditable, honourable, and worthy, humans, this also applied to their spiritual sense.

So let us be a salted people with honorable hearts. Let us show goodness and mercy toward all men, especially to our families. With honor and dedication, we will endeavor to do the same in our businesses.

About the author

Carmen is a wife of 59 yrs., mother of five children, grandmother of 10 grandchildren and great grandmother to 6 great-grandchildren. She embraced the world of technology and became a member and a committed advocate of Compumatrix International.

Comments

  1. That was a great reminder and education about “salt” .. I remember the blue box of Morton Salt with the little girl with the umbrella was “the salt” to get… iodine was added you know…. and everyone needs iodine so we don’t get a goiter… or that was what I always thought. Now I have a different understanding of what “good salt” is for us. That white salt that we grew up on is refined, pours nicely but unfortunately many of the trace minerals have been refined / removed and has made that salt less beneficial.
    I have changed to the pink Himalayan salt mined deep in the Himalayan mountains. The pink color comes from 84 natural minerals embedded into the salt beds 250 million years ago during the ancient Jurrasic era resulting in the highest quality 100% salt (or so I have seen advertised!)

    I truly love the taste of Pink salt and use it in many unusual ways. I’ve come to believe the statement that when we think we are hungry or want something sweet, our body is actually telling us we need salt! (that may be a “new” wives tale, but I like to think it’s true! Keeping to that thought, one of the unusual ways I get my daily salt ration is to put it in my morning coffee and the water I drink. My daughter thinks I’m “losing it” but that’s OK, I like my Pink Himalayan Salt!

  2. If you know how to use salt when you are cooking, than you can upgrade de flavor of the food. However, you need to know the right dose, because if you use more than you can, it would be dangerous for your health.

    That also applies to a relationship’s health with other people: you should take care to not turn in to a salty one.

  3. Did not realize there were that many uses for salt. I know they say our bodies can not survive without salt, there was a little boy whose mother took all salt from him and he ended up dying and found out why through a autopsy.
    I think this would be great bartering product if it came to that also sugar and flour would be huge I am sure.

  4. Thank you Carmen, for your article on salt. An essential component in our lives, & has played such an important role in commerce & life for thousands of years. We often take it for granted, yet it is everywhere and has many uses. Personally, I am careful about my salt intake and prefer to use sea salt.

  5. Thank you Carmen for the great blog, I have always been a salt lover. I crave salty crunchy chips. When that happens at least I know what I need. I also use the Pink salt. We used salt growing up but it was the little girl with the umbrella too. What great memories your story brought back. Made me think of my grand mother canning with Mason jars. My son that I named Mason was because of her and those jars. I just always loved that name. So although he’s in heaven now with my Grandma and Papa, I’m sure they are loving it. I love you Mason

  6. This article was a good reminder that something so little and seemingly useless like salt can be used so many ways. This can relate to our knowledge and education about concepts such as bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies. Random facts and knowledge about these topics can help aid you in many ways such as when purchasing or trading these currencies.

  7. Thank you for this informative blog post Carmen. Salt is a very important ingredient. In school, I learned that salt was used to conserve e.g. fish and that my country The Netherlands played an important part in the transportation of salt for this purpose. What I also learned is that salt improves the taste of the food we eat but at the same time can be hazardous for our health when we use too much of it.

  8. Salt is indeed very important, but like so many other seemingly insignificant things we tend to take it for granted.
    It reminded me of a fairy tale called Salt over Gold, it tells a story about a kingdom
    where no salt at all was left in the end and no amount of gold could buy even a pinch.
    It was possible to live without gold but salt was irreplaceable.

  9. This is a synchronic blog, as I opened a new salt grinder for my breakfast and the salt crystals flew everywhere! I truly felt abundant and ate my very salty egg. I reflect on how much salt I use on a daily basis. I use it for breakfast on eggs, dinner in soups, and take Epsom salt baths. Thank you for your insightful salt blog. I have a new perspective for salt on different levels in my life.

  10. Great post Carmen. yes salt is indeed a very essential part of our body function .W evolved from the sea and it was salt in our make up milieu interior and we have thus continued to have that chemical composition in our body dating back millions of years .A historic event just to illustrate the importance was the salt march in India started by Mahatma Gandhi which resulted ultimately in getting India’s independence

  11. Informative blog Carmen!How important salt is in our lives. Eating without salt is not the taste,I always use pink salt because regulates blood sugar and hormonal balance,and the biggest benefit is that pink salt keeps the digestive system right.Himmalayan pink salt lamp to purify the air.People from all over the world come here and buy these lamps,The world  second largest mines is Khewra in Pakistan. 

  12. what a great read to start my wednesday — salt is everywhere almost or so it seems some moments — having a great start and my attitude is not too salty either lol — although some days it does appear that i may be a bit saltier than others — enjoy and prosper —

  13. Carmen, nice to see all your positive words here about salt. The medical community in my opinion has it all wrong. Salt does so many great things for your body, and it is essential for 1000’s or processes in our body. We take the pink Himalayan salt, and I take about a teaspoon a day. If people don’t have any energy, they should try an uptake of salt. Not the table salt, but a good sea salt.

  14. Yes, salt is important for the body if one does not overdo it. If you have a certain mineral deficiency, a good mineral salt can be helpful. I would rather use mineral salt than take pills that doctors insist on prescribing. Salt is also a good method of preserving food.

  15. salt is just that important in our daily life — i know some media outlets tell the incorrect story — but look at the truth — salt is used in so much of our everyday functionality — whether we admit it or not — truth is Salt is worth every part of its positive words — and from a cooks standpoint — if not for cooking salt — Flavor almost would not be a part of the conversation — true story — imho

  16. I now have a whole new impression of salt. It is certainly more important than I ever imagined….probably because I didn’t do much imagining on salt, but more important none the less. And although your blog certainly covered many of the 14,000 uses of salt and its importance in the world, my mind drifted more toward the adjective instead of the noun. “So let us be a salted people with honorable hearts”.

  17. oh you just have enjoy the fun of this posting — there is so much good stuff in the explanations and when put the truth and importance of salt and how Compumatrix is also so intertwined in most all our daily lives and is very much one of those top of the line thoughts we have each day as we work at moving forward and succeeding in business and ultimately in life — enjoy this read —

  18. I don’t eat sugary foods, but salty snacks are my go-to! Himalayan pink salt is my favorite salt to add to food. I didn’t know about salt as currency, but it makes sense. For once, a currency that is plentiful but still used for barter. I wonder, were different salts more valuable than others? Did your dad use particular salts for particular purposes? I love salt!

  19. this is such an interesting thought process — and when you put the truth and facts of Salt into your look at life or Compu biz — it is so much the important parts of just every day and every moment — Salt is that important but also as we breathe — realize that our Compu Biz is basically just as important as salt is to our everyday existence — it really is — breathe in but exhale also —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *