Ch. 15: Salt

Salt (

There are 3 main methods of collecting salt: evaporating seawater, boiling salt solutions from brine springs, and mining rock salt. Seawater evaporation is the most commonly used method of salt production. It is a slow, yet cheap process and is more effective in tropical climates. Raw sea salt is of a lower quality of brine salt. Seawater is about 3.5% pure salt and contains impurities such as magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride. Brine springs are underground solutions of highly concentrated solutions of salt, often times 10 times more concentrated than seawater. It is also a very effective method of collecting salt in any climate. Brine salt also lacks the impurities of sea salt and is more desired and therefore, more expensive. Rock salt is the dried remains of of old oceans or seas. These salt deposits must be mined out of the earth. (Le Couteur & Burreson 291-308)

There are many more uses for salt than just for flavor. Salt has been used for centuries as a preservative of meats, by removing water from the tissue. Salt is also vital to the human body. Salt is responsible for maintaining the electrolyte balance, generating the electrical impulses in neurons, and it is a necessary component in the production of hydrochloric acid, which is an essential component of the digestive juices in our stomachs. Symptoms of lack of salt are weight loss, loss of appetite, cramps, nausea, and in extreme cases, vascular collapse and death. in contrast, an excess of salt causes high blood pressure which can result in heart, kidney, or liver disease. (Le Couteur & Burreson 291-308)