Salt is one of the most common and basic staples and one which every prepper should have in their pantry. While today salt is easily and cheaply purchased, it is also a valuable resource. When used in excess, salt can be harmful. However, it is also vital for maintaining health, as well as providing a range of additional benefits and uses.
Why Salt Storage Is Essential
Salt is one of the most important and vital items every prepper should have. In the first instance, salt helps treat a variety of ailments and is a necessary dietary ingredient for maintain good health, as well as providing health benefits and support in the treatment of dental problems. It can also be used in making soap, as well as be used as a cleaning product around the homestead.
However, one of the main benefits of salt is that it helps to preserve food, as well as adding some welcome flavor to otherwise dull foods. In addition to having a range of uses, salt is also cheap to buy and long-lasting, making it an essential item for preppers.
How Much Salt Should You Store?
There are differing opinions on how much salt you actually need to store. It’s important to ensure that you store enough salt, not only for each person’s individual consumption, but to ensure that there is sufficient salt to use in the curing of meats and for additional uses, such as a cleaning agent. As a general rule, it’s recommended to store 10 pounds of salt per person per year.
The Benefits And Uses Of Salt For Preppers
Salt is necessary for ensuring that you can maintain good health. However, it can also provide a number of other important uses which are essential for survival.
Salt is essential for human survival. The sodium found in salt is crucial for maintaining fluid balance, ensuring that nerve impulses are effectively transmitted and that our muscles are able to function properly. When the body is faced with a lack of sodium, it will retain fluid, in an attempt to conserve any sodium which it currently has. Sodium deficiency can lead to a range of highly unpleasant and dangerous side effects, including dizziness, confusion, headaches, irritability, fatigue, vomiting and weakness.
Additionally, salt also contains other minerals which are essential to digestion. Salt can be used to help you rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance in your body. As you sweat, you lose electrolytes. However, by using a salt and sugar electrolyte recipe you can quickly make your own electrolyte drink and restore that crucial balance.
Salt not only enables the body to function properly, but it also has a range of medicinal uses. Salt can be used to ease dental problems, as it acts as an isotonic. Swishing salt with warm salt water can help provide welcomed relief. Additionally, it can also soothe sore throats. Simply gurgle ½ a teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. This is a particularly useful treatment for throat infections, including in the soothing of tonsilitis.
Similarly, if you become poorly, suffering from diarrhea, you can use salt to create a simple and effective drink to manage diarrheal dehydration. Importantly, this can also be given to children. As a result, you’ll be able to recover more quickly from your illness.
Another important use of salt is as an antibacterial agent. When diluted, salt can be used as a mild antiseptic. If you get a cut, washing the wound in salty water and allowing it to dry naturally can help the wound to dry out and heal more quickly. It can also be used to help relieve bee stings, when added to a drop of water.
Salt is an essential ingredient in the process of food preservation. By absorbing the moisture, salt dries out the food. It creates an environment where dangerous organisms, including bacteria and fungi, are unable to survive. As a result, microbes are unable to multiply, so food is able to be successfully and safely preserved. In particular, salt is used to cure and preserve meats.
You can also use salt for pickling. However, it’s important to ensure that you only use pickling salt for this as it has no additives or anti-caking ingredients. Additionally, salt is an important seasoning ingredient. A simple pinch of salt can suppress bitterness an enhance sweetness in most foods. As a result, otherwise bland food, such as a plain loaf of bread, can become much more flavorsome and a treat that you look forward to.
Varieties Of Salt
There are a range of salt varieties available. Whilst some varieties are ideal for preserving food, others are better suited for culinary purposes. Ideally, you should try to store a range of the varieties of salt to meet your needs.
- Table salt is usually mined from underground salt deposits and tends to be heavily processed. It also contains an anti-caking ingredient to prevent it from clumping. Although suitable for general culinary purposes, you should avoid using table salt for canning or pickling as it will cause the liquid to become cloudy.
- Sea salt is natural and doesn’t contain any iodine. However, it does contain minerals which help to add flavor to the food, although it can cause food discoloration. Pure sea salt can be stored indefinitely and is good for culinary purposes or as a mineral supplement.
- Iodized salt is a good choice for culinary purposes and as an iodine supplement, as it includes potassium iodide. Iodized salt is ideal if you’re not getting sufficient iodine from your food. Iodine is essential to humans and helps to prevent thyroid gland problems and goiter, as well as being crucial in regulating fluid balance.
- Pickling salt is crucial to brine. Pickling salt is different in that it doesn’t contain any iodine, additives or anti-caking ingredients. As such, it won’t cause the liquid to darken or go cloudy.
- Curing salt is used to preserve meat and fish. It draws out moisture in the meat/fish and creates an inhospitable environment for microbes. It also contains nitrite which prevents botulism in meat. As it contains added preservatives, curing salt isn’t suitable for culinary purposes.
- Kosher salt is not simply salt that’s been blessed by a rabbi. The craggy crystals in Kosher salt are ideal for curing meats. Additionally, it also dissolves very quickly and adds flavor evenly to food.
- Himalayan pink salt is an unrefined salt that is rich in minerals. It’s an essential addition to your food store and is useful in the healing process, due to it many minerals. It can also be stored indefinitely.
- Cattle salt is important for livestock. Usually, it’s mixed in with the trough. It can also be purchased as salt blocks, which you can then use to attract wildlife.
- Epsom salt isn’t edible, but is still a valuable addition to your pantry nonetheless. Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate. Added to bath water, it can be used to relieves aches and pains. It can also be taken internally as a magnesium supplement or to help relieve constipation.
Is Salt A Spice?
Salt is in fact a mineral. Although easily available and fairly cheap now, in the past it was a highly sought-after commodity which people were prepared to kill and trade for. In Ancient Egypt, people used the salt from evaporated seawater in the mummification process. On the other hand, in ancient biblical times, salt was often used as a ceremonial offering at burials.
Salt was supposedly invented by the Chinese. However, as it was so expensive, people began to use it with condiments. Similarly, the Romans valued salt so much that they used it to pay soldiers, resulting in the creation of the word ‘salary’.
Additional Uses Of Salt
Aside from using it for culinary, medicinal and food preservation purposes, salt can also be used for a range of other purposes, such as a substitute for toothpaste. It can also be used to attract wild game or for thawing and melting ice.
If you add salt to the final laundry rinse, when hanging clothes to dry on the line, it can help them to dry faster. Salt can also be used to remove rust and stains, including blood or wine. As a natural cleaning agent and abrasive, salt can also be used to disinfect cutting boards and for cleaning cast iron pans. Importantly, salt can be used to put out grease fires.
Finding Salt In The Wild
Salt will mainly be found in your food. It can be found in a range of vegetables, including celery, potatoes, spinach, beetroot, carrots and chard. It’s also found in peanuts, as well as in milk and in ham. Seafood, including tuna, are another source of salt. Of course, you can also make salt from seawater.
Salt is one of the most essential items all preppers need to ensure they have in their pantry. Not only is it essential for health, but it has a range of highly beneficial uses. Stored properly, salt can last indefinitely and can be a highly useful barter item.
About the Author – George J. Newton is an experienced business development manager at Write my coursework and Thesis writing service. He also regularly writes for Next Coursework, often sharing tips on how to practice self-reliance. George has been married for ten years and enjoys spending his spare time prepping with his wife, as well as supporting others in the community to prepare for the challenges of the future.