The salt-works,
about 1930

Industrially manufactured salt

Amazingly enough, it was the invention of the refrigerator that deprived salt of its primary – ancient – purpose, namely as THE agent of conserving food. However, the industrial revolution “invented“ countless new uses for salt, i.e. in the fabrication of plastics and other synthetic materials, or as a key element in the production of pharmaceuticals – and even in the process of purifying seawater (!).

Yet, natural salt cannot be used for high-tech purposes. Instead these applications require purest sodium chloride – also popularly known as “common salt” – and that in huge quantities!

In order to manufacture purest sodium chloride, natural salt is heated several times and then washed in saturated salt solutions. Therewith recrystallisation and oxidation processes take place, almost entirely removing all essential minerals and trace elements from the once “whole” natural salt. The result is a high-purity, inorganic chemical: Sodium Chloride (NaCl).

Following the constantly growing demands of industrialization, more and more salt was refined and an ever-decreasing volume was “harvested the old fashioned way”, with the result that nowadays more than 90% (!) of the world’s salt output is not destined for consumption but is used for industrial purposes.

Obviously this new, highly-commercialized way of producing salt, had an effect on the price of the commodity – resulting in its sharp decrease. Today, the cheapest natural salt is thirty times more expensive than the same volume of NaCl! Correspondingly, both the foodstuffs industry and the food trade have increasingly benefited from the development and now, almost exclusively, use industrial salts for their purposes.

Until a few years ago no good reason was known for any objection to this.

Meanwhile though, the results of research in the last few years have given much cause for thought. Sodium chloride is an unnaturally isolated compound and has nothing left in common with the intact, whole and valuable natural salt which is so important for our health and well-being! Furthermore common salt – and that means whatever is not traded expressly as untreated natural salt – often has industrial iodine and/or fluoride added to it. Many of these so-called “halogen-organic compounds” are considered to be the cause of allergies and to be detrimental to health. Furthermore, common salt frequently contains other additives such as calcium- or magnesium carbonate, or even aluminium hydroxide, all of which are designed to ensure pourability. (Aluminium is a light metal which, as the latest scientifically supported findings show, can accumulate in the brain and could be connected with Alzheimer’s disease.)