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Pictured above; Salt


Table salt, or halite, is a chemical compound known as Sodium chloride and is harvested by the evaporation of seawater. It is commonly used as a flavor enhancer and preservative for food.

Salt or Sodium chloride is important to life on earth. Most tissues and body fluids contain a varying amount of NaCl. Humans are unusual among primates in secreting large amounts of salt by sweating.

There are 32 references to salt in the Bible, the most familiar probably being the story of Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she disobeyed the angels and looked back at the wicked city of Sodom.

Salt's preservative ability was also a foundation of civilization. It eliminated dependency on the seasonal availability of food and allowed travel over long distances. By the Middle Ages, caravans consisting of as many as 40,000 camels traversed 400 miles of the Sahara bearing salt, sometimes trading it for slaves.

Salt was once one of the most valuable commodities known to man. In the Roman Empire, salt was sometimes even used as a currency. Throughout much of history, it influenced the conduct of wars, the fiscal policies of governments, and even the inception of revolutions. Salt was taxed, from as far back as the 20th century BC in China.

While most people are familiar with the many uses of salt in cooking, they might be unaware that salt is used in a plethora of applications, from manufacturing pulp and paper to setting dyes in textiles and fabric, to producing soaps and detergents.

Salt is commonly used as a flavor enhancer for food and has been identified as one of the basic tastes. Ironically, given its history, this has resulted in large sections of the developed world ingesting salt massively in excess of the required intake, particularly in colder climates where the required intake is much lower. This causes elevated levels of blood pressure in some, which in turn is associated with increased risks of heart attack and stroke.

The salt we buy for consumption today are not purely sodium chloride as most people assume. In 1911 Magnesium carbonate was first added to salt to make it flow more freely. In 1924 trace amounts of iodine were first added, creating iodized salt to reduce the incidence of simple goiter.

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Quick Facts
Chinese Chopsticks taper to a rounded end, Japanese taper to a pointed end and Korean taper to a blunted end.
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