Modern technology has brought us such an abundance of things that we seem to take things for granted. We sometimes forget that not so many years ago some things were either non-existent or so scarce that blood was shed in struggles for their control.

Salt is one such product. Without it in your body, you would die. Salt (sodium chloride or NaCl) has had a colorful history. References to it date all the way back to B.C. Indicating the vital role played by this now common compound. Marco Polo spoke of it. So does the Bible. So did Plato and Homer and Shakespeare in their famous works.

In old China, salt was second only to Gold in value. Salt cakes bearing the stamp of the Great Kahn were used as money in Tibet during the 18th century. Slaves were once sold in exchange for salt on the Gold Coast of Africa, and in the days of the Roman Legionnaires, soldiers received part of their pay in salt or were given a “salarium” (allowance to buy their ration of salt). That seems to be where we get the term “salary”. Don’t forget the old saying “He ain’t worth his salt”.

Their hasn’t been an article of food so ruthlessly exploited by rulers to keep down their people as salt. The most famous example is the salt tax in France in the 18th century. A small favored group was given the right to refine and sale salt at prices too high for the poor to pay. When the poor tried to produce salt by evaporating sea water, they were imprisoned and tortured. In the event of a second offense they were hanged. This helped start the French Revolution.

Salt has played an important part in wars. One of the reasons why Napoleon was forced to retreat from Moscow, was because he ran out of salt for his troops. This deficiency caused low resistance to infection. Many of his soldiers wounds thought not to be fatal at first became infected and ended up being fatal.

The early American pioneers during their surge westward, fought the Indians over valuable salt licks. During the Civil War, the North succcessfuly waged a campaign to cut off the South’s salt supply at the Saltville, Virginia works.

Why is salt so important ? Because if it were left out of your daily diet you would soon die, and that goes for animals as well as humans. Salt is present in your blood and tissue. It governs the exchange of water in your tissue and maintains proper osmotic pressure. Your body is continually throwing off salt through your kidneys and glands. So it must be replaced. Every adult needs two-thirds of an once of salt everyday.

At last count there were 14000 ways salt can be used. In the United States world’s leading producer of salt it is used to manufacture of chemicals. Dry salt for livestock ranks second and salt for households comes in at third place.

Most salt comes from underground deposits yielding a finer grade than is usually produced commercially from other sources. Two methods are used to reach these deposits. One is to dig a mine shaft down to the deposit, blast it out and lift the chunks of salt to the surface.

The other method is to drill for it. This usually yields a purer grade of salt. This method is often used by food corporations.

Did You Know ?

Iodized salt helps in prevention of goiter

That during hot weather, whenever you indulge in strenous work or exercise it is essential that you replace the salt you loose through sweating.

The eouropeans usually consume twice as much salt per capita as Americans.

Salt on grapefruit will make it taste sweet.

Cut flowers will keep longer when a pinch of salt is added to the water.

So, now that we have a little history lesson about Salt, just like humans animals like deer like a little salt on their food too. So put those minerals out so the deer can enjoy some salt too.

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