Welcome to TheSalt Resource
Our goal: To give you the information you need to make informed decisions on your salt needs.
Our vision: To help everyone learn how to utilize salt and can make flavorful dishes for themselves and their family by properly utilizing salt.
Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
Salt and Sodium are the same thing. Salt is the common name for sodium chloride (NaCl). Most people know salt as a food supplement but only around 5% of the salt is used for this purpose. Around 70% of the salt manufactured in the United States is for the chemical industry. Other uses for salt are the clearing of roadways of snow and ice, used in water softeners, preserving food such as pork (salted pork) and for use in stabilizing the soil at construction sites.
In ancient times salt in the human diet was gotten from either meat or what is called a salt lick. Salt licks are blocks of compressed salt crystals from natural forming salt concentrations. Salt blocks nowadays are used for animals like cows. People who lived near oceans could acquire salt by eating seaweed. In the middle eastern deserts the Bedouin as well as the Masai of east Africa and our Inuit of the far north still get their salt in these methods.
With the development of domestication of animals. Reindeer, camels, goats, horses, sheep and cattle help create another salt source. Milk from these animals became a source for added salt in the human diet. Agriculture started developing and our diet started consisting more of plants a new source for salt was needed. This lead to the need for a salt resource. The Chinese started around 2000 years ago drilling wells to reach underground pools of salt water. These wells could be as deep as half a mile.
The Romans used shallow lead pans to boil the salt water. In other climates, the salt water might be poured over heated rocks and then the salt would be scraped off. The middle ages saw the use of iron pans heated over hot coals. In the 1860’s the grainer process was invented. This process is also called the Michigan process. The process worked by running steam through pipes in water. Certain types of salts are still made using the process. By the late 1800’s closed pans were used. This process is called multiple-effect vacuum evaporator. This process was taken for the sugar industry which had already been using it for nearly 50 years.
- To give you the resource to be able to make an informed decision on your salt consumption.
- To help you learn about salts. So you can utilize
it in the most healthfully beneficial way.
- Not only give you some recipe choices but to suggest
and teach you on how to modify your recipes to make delicious healthy meals.
Sodium Chloride (NaCl)
Salt is the common name for sodium chloride(NaCl). Most people know salt as a food supplement. Only around 5% of the salts are used for this purpose. Around 70% of the salts mined in the United States are used in the chemical industry.
Other uses for salts are clearing roadways( rock salt), of snow and ice. Water softeners also use salt, as well as for
stabilizing the soil at construction sites. It is also a great preservative.(salted pork)
Before the manufacturing of salt hit the market, salt was acquired in the human diet by either eating meat or finding a salt lick. Salt licks are a big compressed block of salt. They form naturally through concentrated compressed salt crystals.
Today however most salt blocks seen are put out in pastures for domesticated or wild animals. With the domestication of animals such as reindeer, camels, goats, horses, sheep and cattle gave away to another source for salt. The animals milk.
As agriculture started to develop and the human diet started to include more plants, a new source of salt was needed. Some plants contain a lot more salt than others but a dietary from of salt was needed to fill in the gaps.
The Chinese started drilling for salts about 2000 years ago. They drilled in hopes of hitting underground pools of salt water. These wells could be as deep as half a mile or more.
The Romans were known for using shallow lead pans to boil the salt water and harvest the crystals. (We now know the harmful effects of lead making this a bad source for food producing utensils.)
In other climates, the salt water was poured of heated rocks and then the crystals were scraped from the rocks andharvested for use.
By the middle ages we started seeing the use of metal pans being used. These pans were heated over hot coals to evaporate the water leaving salt crystals.
The 1860’s brought on the use of the grainer process. The process works by running steam through pipes in the water. There still use this process for making certain types of salts.
The late 1800’s brought on the use of using closed pans. This process is known as the multiple-effect vacuum evaporator. Although this process had been used in the sugar production industry for nearly 50 years no one had thought to use it for salt collection until the late 1800’s.
Salt Producing Countries
As of this writing the United States is now the leader in salt production. We are followed closely by China, Russia, Germany, UK, Indian and France.
Sources For Acquiring Salts
The first source is rock salt (halite). This crystallized salt is mined out of the ground. It is created by ancient oceans that were trapped due to tectonic plate movement. This trapped water in underground pits has dried up leaving behind the salt. These salt formation are known as massive salt beds.
This salt is collected in two ways. First regular bore and blast mining or by drilling and pumping water into the hole then once the salts have dissolved sucking it back up and using the multiple-effect vacuum evaporator system to harvest the salt.
The second way salt is collected is called the brine. Brine water is collected from the oceans and evaporated leaving behind the crystals. The dead sea is a great source for this brine as well as the salt lakes in America. In parts of America underground pools of brine water still exist today. These pools can also be found in France, Austria, India and Germany.
Processed or Unprocessed Salt
Natural brine salts contain other chemicals such as magnesium chloride and sulfate, calcium sulfate, carbonate, magnesium bromide and other impurities. These items will be found in the unprocessed salts as well as other additives. These additives are put in there for health or storage purposes. Iodine (helps prevent Goiter) and anti-clogging agents which helps keep the salt from absorbing water (prevents caking).
Salt and Your Health
The average person needs only 1500 to 2000 mg of salt. A top athlete or hard laborer working outside may need 2500 to 2800 mg a day. Someone with health issues will need less sodium, possibly 700 to 1000 mg a day. Most individuals will take in 5000 to 6000 mg of salt a day.
Salt affects the body by causing an equilibrium or balancing of the body’s fluid system. This helps in proper transfer of nutrients and electromagnetic signals in your nervous system.
Different Types of Salts
There are five different types of salts, at this site we focus on one Sodium chloride (NaCl). This is the list from the least soluble to the most soluble. Calcium carbonate (CaC03), then you have Gypsum (CaSO4-H20), then Sodium chloride (NaCl), and the most soluble is Magnesium chloride (MgCl2) and Potassium chloride (KCl).
When we are talking about salt we say salt is salt which means sodium chloride processed or unprocessed is still salt. Table salt or sodium chloride is 97 to 99% pure sodium chloride. This is a processed salt and is known for causing hardening of the arteries.
Unprocessed salts are salts in their natural form and will be better utilized by the human body. Unrefined salts will also contain other minerals or trace minerals which we also need to live a happy, health life.