Lessons on Granola #4

RE: Salt Ain’t What It Used To Be

Table Salt refers to rock salt that has been ground to a fine crystal. Salt is a mineral and for people who are looking at the ingredients in their food, unadulterated salt should be an easy find. After all, salt is so plentiful in our day that we throw hundreds of tons of in our streets in the winter. Ironies among the ironies, the salt we throw on the streets is purer than the table salt in our dining areas.

The ingredients in Morton Salt© are:

SALT, CALCIUM SILICATE, DEXTROSE, and POTASSIUM IODIDE

Salt, the mineral, is an integral thread in the history of human civilization and is still essential. Potassium Iodide was added to pure salt in the 1920’s as a preventative for goiter, a disease caused by a lack of iodine in the diet. Calcium silicate is an anti-caking agent that stops the salt crystals from melding into thicker chunks because of moisture.

Dextrose is another name for sugar, albeit a more processed product than twice boiled sugarcane. Why add sugar to salt? The answer is a question of profit – How does one make salt taste better than the next choice for salt on the grocery shelf? Why sugar, of course. The salt producers have also experimented with adding MSG to table salt in the form of Citric Acid. Most have removed citric acid from their formularies as of this date, preferring to hide MSG in Dextrose, which is a known MSG product. To read more about the ingredients, read this article on salt published in 2010.

Food manufacturers are sensitive to complaints about their ingredients. Both Morton and Diamond Crystal now produce a table salt without iodine that also has no sugar. For pure salt, look to purchase Kosher Salt, although all kosher salt products are not the same. Morton adds anti-caking agent to their product because their method of creating the kosher grind (a larger crystal than table) creates a flakier, more intense salt. Diamond Crystal does not have such an agent.

To clarify the record, Kosher Salt does not refer to Jewish dietary laws of kashrut. Salt is a mineral and does not require rabbinic supervision. Kosher in this case refers to the size of the salt crystals. Kosher salt is a larger grain used often to soak the blood out of cuts of meat. The product is used in kashering kosher-slaughtered meats but in and of itself is inert in Jewish law.

NEXT: Honey Not!

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