Did You Know (Salt Edition)

Every human needs about 28,000 pounds of salt over a lifetime! I found this fact in the book An Uncommon History of Common Things. This is equivalent to about a pound of salt a day if you live to be 76. Much of this amount is obtained naturally, occuring in meats, cheeses, eggs and fermented items.

To find out where we got all this salt, I began to do some research. The Story of Salt by Mark Kurlansky and S. D. Schindler was an excellent starting point. This is a children’s book, full of clever illustrations, about the scientific and historical ways salt has shaped the world. Mark has also done a more in-depth book for adults called Salt: A World History.

Men of Salt is an unconventional travel tale. Michael Benanav travels to Timbuktu to join a camel caravan across the desert to the salt quarries of Taoudenni and back. It is fascinating to see the great lengths people go to for “white gold”.

What good is it to have all this salt if you’ve nowhere to keep it? Many people collect salt and pepper shakers, and with Antique Trader Salt and Pepper Guide by Mark F Moran,  you can find prices for hundreds of different styles of novelty shakers.

The book Salted by Mark Bitterman is “A manifesto on the world’s most essential mineral”. While it is an adult book, there are lots of pictures showing the many different ways the world cultivates salt, the many types of salt there are and the differences between them.

Salt is also the title of a movie with Angelina Jolie. Character Evelyn Salt is accused of being a Russian spy, and she goes on the run using her skills and experience as a covert operator to elude capture. Her efforts only serve to cast doubt on her motives, as the hunt to uncover the truth behind her identity continues.

Linda

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