Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Got Salt?

Some time ago, I read a book titled, “Salt – A World History” by Mark Kurlansky. This is not a review of that excellent book (but you can buy if for less than $10 delivered here: SALT but the book spurred me to action. It nicely laid out the history and importance of salt throughout time ended and after reading it, I ended up salting away a lot of salt.

Then today I read a Washington Post article, “FDA plans to limit amount of salt allowed in processed foods for health reasons” that lays out how the Nanny State is going to try and protect me from the salt shaker. I could go off on a tangent about .gov attempting to “protect me from myself” (actually it has little to do with protecting and a whole lot to do with controlling me...and you) but this blog entry is not about CONTROL – it’s about salt.

Right now people think in terms of limiting salt – not stocking it up. We have too much salt – why store it? Well the reason is this – you NEED it. Not only do we need salt to make our bodies work – we will also need it to preserve foods when things go south in a big way. And most of you cannot find a ready source of it should the Just In Time system fail. Think about it – where would you find natural salt? If you live on the coast you can get it from the sea. If you live near the Salt Flats you have a source there. Maybe you live in Jericho with a salt mine just outside of town. But most of us do not have easy access to natural salt. And that’s why the history of the stuff is so fascinating – caravans transported it for vast distances, battles were fought over control of salt sources, and so on.

You could drink the blood of critters you kill – if you can continue to obtain critters and if you could stomach it. There is, however, a better option – store it now.

Salt is cheap and you should buy a lot of it. You do not need a lot – but it makes an excellent barter item. It won’t “go bad”. If for some reason you fail to keep it dry and it forms a big rock – you can break it up with a hammer or grinder or brick…

I like buying the round cardboard cylinders of salt. I think they are in a readily barterable form. I get iodized and uniodized (which is used for canning and such)and store them in plastic buckets. They do not store efficiently that way and I may eventually move to something like a Tote bin with desiccant packs and a duct taped lid. Those containers are cheap but you can get even cheaper salt.

If you carefully read the contents of bags of rock salt used for salting sidewalks you can find rock salt that is pure salt. Sure, there may be some “impurities” in there but trust me – you won’t care later. Make sure though that your sidewalk melt doesn’t have weird chemicals in it. Sodium chloride (NaCl) is salt. Sometimes around this time of year you can find great deals at grocery and hardware stores where they are trying to clean out inventory. I found it in 25-pound bags for $2.50 each. A hundred pounds of salt for 10 bucks - pretty cool.

I know salt is used in water softeners but I don’t have one and so am not sure if that is a good type of salt to buy or not. You may want to investigate that option as well. But whatever you do - do not just read this and think, "hmm, good idea" and then continue on as if no action is necessary. Go and Do.

So…Got Salt?

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
– Mark 9:50


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


At 21/4/10 11:22, Blogger J. J. Magnum said...

Pepper is also a valuable resource if things "go South in a hurry". Pepper is a commodity that rivaled gold in millenia past for currency. If you are buying salt for barter (or use), you might consider the small cylinder salt and pepper shakers. A large number could be sealed in a 4 foot 6" PVC pipe which would be fairly water proof. This in turn could be cached like "money in a bank".

Other spices might be considered as well. While some of them get a bit stale they will still be better than no spice for your food at all.

Just a thought...

At 22/4/10 10:38, Blogger RuPhUs said...

At the beginning of the first Gulf War my country (Italy) was supposedly within reach of Saddam Hussein missiles. Facts proved this fear was groundless but for a few weeks you couldn't find salt on the supermarket shelves. Not that Italy is so crowded of survivlists..actually the people who bought off the stuff were the elders: all the people who could remember WWII and the deprivation wars brings knew how valuable salt is when SHTF!

At 24/5/10 21:43, Blogger Deep Roots in Tough Times said...

Another cheap source for salt is the livestock feed store. It comes in 50lb sacks, white and pure, but courser like kosher. I pour mine in white buckets with cheap lids and will use it for food processing and hides. Also if you are planning on having any livestock or horses, get a supply of block salt and mineral stored up.


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