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Salt - For Health, Table and Canning

Depending on what article you are reading (and who funded the article) you can be convinced that salt is very bad for your health -- or very good for your health.  If you are confused, you're not alone - science has been debating the risks vs benefits of salt intake on human health for decades.  One of the challenges of all the research is that most of the research is based on regular table salt NaCl which is 97% Sodium Chloride and which is over processed and devoid of any of the trace minerals that might have originally been available -- not to mention the additives like anti-caking agents and the like.  Any food substance that is over processed is usually bad for the human consumption, so why should salt be any different?

On the other hand, like most other foods, natural salt - and the additional trace minerals is may contain - is an entirely different story.  Modern research indicates that a deficiency in calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals may have more importance on high blood pressure and it's complications that the amount of sodium in the diet.  (Source).

Himalayan Pink Salt - this really is a sea salt because millions of years ago the salt deposits high in the Himalayan mountains were an ocean and during the development of the earth, that ancient sea was lifted into the Himalayan mountains.  This arguably may be the 'purist' salt on earth, as the deposits have escaped modern pollution and still retain all the trace minerals.  Here is a link to an exhaustive list of minerals in Himalayan Pink Salt.  The pink is actually impurities in the salt and you will see some not so friendly minerals in the list, such as arsenic and aluminum - but remember that these minerals are in your drinking water and the vegetables that are so good for you as well.  The human body actually handles natural forms of such minerals very well and they are removed from the body through urine, feces and sweat - sorry, life is real!

Pink Himalayan Salt is my favorite for sprinkling lightly on top of food (on the plate) as a little bit goes a long way for flavor and the extra zing from the larger crystals is very nice on the palate.

Sea Salt - Like many other people, this was my go-to salt for many years.  However, the oceans have become more and more polluted and current research indicates as much as 90% of the table salt being consumed is contaminated with plastic debris.  (Source).  The plastic contamination, combined with the actual processing methods - dragged out of the ocean, spread out in the open for air, bird and other forms of pollution to further contaminate the salt - then bagged and shipped around the world -- really?? -- caused me to discontinue my support of sea salt several years ago.

Kosher Salt - No - it's not really 'kosher' - the name actually comes from the process of koshering meat - meaning to cure with salt.  Some brands are pure (no added ingredients) but others are not - so read carefully before purchasing.  If your brand is only salt with no added ingredients, then it is fine for consumption, cooking and some canning applications.  Kosher salt will usually be much large crystals and may sometimes be called Rock Salt.  If only salt and no other additives, this can be nice in a grinder for table use.

Pickling or Canning Salt - this is a 'pure' salt that does not contain any anti-caking additives, iodine, etc -- it is just SALT - but is highly processed (meaning cleaned, dried, etc) to create a fine grain which will easily dissolve in liquid for cooking or preserving purposes.  This is my go-to salt for general cooking and canning.  For general cooking and baking, pickling salt will measure just as table salt - so if a recipe calls for 1/2 tsp salt - just use 1/2 tsp - no conversion is necessary.

So . . . . from a canning perspective, use the Pickling or Canning Salt because it is only salt with no added iodine or anti-caking agents or minerals that might cause discoloration during the high heat of canning.  Storage?  Since pure salt without anti-caking agents is healthier, make sure and store your salt in an air-tight container.  Shelf life is indefinite as long the salt is kept completely dry.

Learn about the 10 Largest Salt Mines in the World.

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After Canning (and Dehydrating) Recipes
Using your canned and dehydrated food supply and ingredients from a well stocked pantry

A Well-Stocked Pantry
Ideas for What to Put in Yours

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