Salt!

Mary Jo here to tell you more than you ever wanted to know about salt. <G>

Salt is so common it’s almost invisible.  It’s in every kitchen, Historically it has been vital for preserving food as well for seasoning.  Salt is a flavor-enhancer and makes many foods taste better, which is why processed food is so often very salty and these days a lot of people have to watch their salt intake for health reasons. Hence the ‘you can’t eat just one potato chip’ syndrome. (Picture by Ludwadlin Bosman, Unsplash.)

Salt is essential for humans because it’s an electrolyte that balances nerve and muscle functions.  It’s also one of the five basic taste sensations along with sweet, sour, bitter and umami. Natural food doesn’t usually contain enough salt for us so it’s a supplement we need to ingest.

There is evidence of human salt harvesting processes dating back to about 6000 BC.  How did early humans learn they needed salt? Clearly there is some kind of instinct because all kinds of animals crave salt and there are natural salt licks all over the world.

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