Salt: A World History

Author: Mark Kurlansky
This Month Reddit 4


by hyene   2021-12-10

Himalayan pink salt is just halite anyway, and halite is trash quality salt, often contaminated with heavy metals, lead, etc, and a byproduct of metal/mineral and fossil fuel mining/extraction. Cheap table salt is usually halite, makes me sick to my stomach and triggers migraines. I now avoid halite if I can.

Heavy Metals Contamination of Table Salt Consumed in Iran

Cheap but decent quality sea salt is only a dollar or two more than table salt (halite) and doesn't make me feel like trash, in fact the complete opposite. Good quality sea salt, harvested and evaporated properly, helps alleviate nausea, is an excellent topical and oral antibiotic, reduces inflammation, migraines, and bacterial infections. Good quality saline keeps people alive in hospitals, is one of the most frequently used mixtures in hospitals. Bags of saline.

The type of salt and where it's sourced from matters just as much as the authenticity and source of honey, for very similar reasons: pure honey is also an antibacterial and helps alleviate some health problems, whereas counterfeit honey is high-fructose corn syrup etc and causes bacterial infections and a host of health problems.

Anyway. Sorry for rambling. Had some sinus problems years ago and got into neti pots and saline rinses and discovered not all salts are created equal.... and tumbled down this ^^ rabbit hole.

This is a great book.

by BigMrJWhit   2021-12-10

My personal favorite non-fiction books that sound incredibly boring, but are actually really interesting:

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky It's a book about salt! The history of salt, the cultural significance of salt, salt production through the ages, all about salt. It's amazing.

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky It's the history of Cod! The author spends a good portion of the book talking about how Cod is both incredibly bland and tasteless, but also how western culture loves that bland fish and all of the interesting political movements for Cod.

And for a more serious topic: Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich. This is multiple personal accounts of the Chernobyl disaster, all deeply interesting, and deeply sad. I'm only an episode into the Chernobyl HBO series, but I'm pretty sure that show is following some of characters from this book. It's a high quality book that I think is worth everyone's time, it doesn't go super in depth with the technology, just the human aspect.

by MakeMeAMajorForThis   2021-12-10

I'm currently reading Salt: A World History, and it seems to be along the lines of what you're looking for.

by agatha361   2019-07-21

I feel like Dr. Stone should shine a bigger spot light on Salt production.

by Pitta_   2019-07-21

in medieval and tudor times this would certainly be true, but by the victorian period the spice world had drastically changed!

depending on where you lived in the world there may be wild herbs available to forage. mint, fennel, dill probably, garlic for sure all grow wild in the UK, or could be cultivated in gardens. in more arid places like the middle east/northern africa/the mediterranean things like rosemary, oregano, bay would be available.

and during victorian times spices would have been more available to people in the UK and elsewhere in europe because of colonization of india (which started in the 1600s ish, and would have been well established 200 years ago in the early victorian period.).

in medieval and tudor times spices would have been very expensive for sure, but once the east india company and the spice trade really gets rolling they become much more available. a lot of victorian cookbooks mention spices quite frequently, so one can assume they were being used regularly!

and if you're interested in salt, which victorians would have certainly eaten a lot of and been buying quite regularly, mark kurlansky's book "salt" (it's just called salt) is a truly fascinating look at the micro-history of salt!!