Sea Salt – An Indispensable Commodity for Uncertain Times

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You have food and water, but did you know you might be missing a critical supply? Sea salt is far more than just a flavoring when you cook. I via The Survival MomWhen we think about setting aside emergency supplies, most of us would agree that preserved food and purified water are the essentials and everything else is secondary to these. Some might even choose to incorporate things like a manual grain mill, a water purifier, a food dehydrator, a solar cook stove and so on.

But who would ever consider something as simple and humble as salt as an indispensable necessity and commodity in the tumultuous days ahead? I would even go so far as to say if sea salt is not a part of your survival provisions, it’s time to tuck away this invaluable, hidden treasure.

In fact, salt was once valued as a form of currency – it was that scarce, and considered a luxury of few. The ancient Greeks used salt to trade for slaves and Roman soldiers were paid in “salt money” or “salarium argentum” where we derive the English word, “salary”. Homer called it “Divine”. Jesus calls His followers (which I’m honored to say I am) the “salt of the earth”.

Wars have been fought and whole settlements turned into cities and nations over the pursuit of salt. Just as gold and silver have once again gained ground in this present economic meltdown, so also will sea salt be a valuable and tradable commodity, literally “worth its weight in gold.” It will be a supreme bartering tool.

Preserving Food with Sea Salt

Sea salt has a unique ability of drawing out the flavor in food like no other seasoning, but this is secondary to yet another one of its amazing values. Salt has long been known for its ability to preserve foods. In the event of societal and economic collapse, refrigeration may be a thing of the past. Unless you plan to consume what you pick immediately, depend on your air dehydrator or live off your food storage, you will need salt for preserving food.

During harvest time, there should be plenty of fresh food (assuming you thought ahead to plant a garden), but the long harsh winters will inevitably come and preserving food will be a crucial issue. Even hunting for game, chances are you will not be able to consume it all in one sitting – salt preservation will be key. And without power, your pressure canner or electric dehydrator will not get you very far, so salt can be the perfect alternate route.

Health Benefits

With salt’s same ability to retard spoilage, “mineral dense sea salt” also aids in disinfecting and healing wounds. A simple salt paste or soaking a wound in a salt/water solution several times a day should achieve positive results. Sea salt also rejuvenates the skin keeping a more youthful appearance while aiding in the healing of acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin related problems.

Ever wonder why your skin felt so tight, free and clear of irritation or blemishes after spending a day at the beach? Sea salt has miracle healing properties that are often overlooked. In fact, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is world renown for its hot salt springs that people flock to with skin conditions. Dead Sea salts are another sought after skin commodity.

Which kind of sea salt?

But might I be quick to add that not just any salt will suffice when it comes to you and your loved ones, especially typical table salt (sodium chloride) and in some cases, certain brands of sea salt. Salt that is processed for vast human consumption – while meeting the public’s demand for a product that is cheap and convenient – sacrifices a lot of health benefits.

Table salt has been stripped of all but two of its 84 trace minerals through a chemical process, dried at extreme temperatures, and oftentimes – for the sake of appearance – anti-caking, free-flowing, or conditioning agents are added along with iodine. But buyer beware of even some brands of so-called sea salt: It may be mechanically harvested from dirt or concrete basins and piped through metal conduits; artificially processed; heated to extreme temperatures to break the molecular structure; stripped of its essential minerals and further adulterated by chemical additives.[i] In essence, many highly acclaimed “sea salts” are no different than plain ole table salt.

So where do you find pure, unadulterated salt?

Dense with vital trace minerals along with its light grey hue from the pure clay sole it’s harvested from, Celtic Sea Salt® is unmistakable in old world flavor and nutritious. (And taste may mean everything with a bland diet of survival foods!)

Extracted from the natural evaporation of the sea and wind alone, the ocean brine is channeled from the sea to the pristine shallow clay ponds, surrounded by vegetation. It provides a natural habitat for the salt while the salt farmer gathers the dazzling white crystals with a long, shovel-like tool, then collects it daily by hand.[ii]

Other Benefits

Celtic Sea Salt can be a simple addition to any food storage plan that just makes sense. It not only stores indefinitely, it provides so many hidden health benefits to mention in this article, but here are just a few:

Supplying well over 80 (24 of which are essential to life) minerals needed for proper metabolic functions and the assimilation of necessary nutrients in the body, natural sea salt is also an excellent immune booster and helps keep the body alkaline.

It works synergistically with vitamins and other minerals for their bioavailability to the body. (Bioavailability: the extent to which a nutrient or medication can be used by the body.) For instance, we know that calcium needs both magnesium and Vitamin D3 to be absorbed; sodium and potassium need each other in the proper proportions to help maintain normal blood pressure and water distribution.

Since natural sea salt contains a balance of minerals including sodium and potassium, the body is able to safely eliminate any excess sodium without the complications of typical table salt. This is a huge benefit for those who have to monitor their salt intake.

“Sea water contains minerals such as ionized sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and selenium, plus many trace elements such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese, and chromium. The human body uses the minerals & trace elements in sea salt to create electrolytes, maintaining the “internal ocean” which is vital to the proper functioning of every system in the body.”

In an age of degenerative diseases and in the difficult times that may lie ahead, no doubt sea salt is and will be worth its weight in gold, in more ways than one. Not only essential for health and vitality, sea salt clearly carries a vast array of benefits.

A Final Note

The familiar round grocery store container of salt is always ground the same. That’s not true of the many varieties of sea salt. It can be anywhere from chunks the size of landscaping rocks to finely ground, which is what most Americans are used to seeing. The website Sea Salt has a lot more specific information on types, coarseness, history, etc. of sea salt.

[i] De Langre, Jacques, Seasalt’s Hidden Powers, Asheville: Happiness Press 1994, page 3

[ii] De Langre, Jacques, Seasalt’s Hidden Powers, Asheville: Happiness Press 1994, page 1

Copyrighted © 2010

Guest Post By Roxanne Griswold, Ready Made Resources

This article has been updated from the original posted on May 26, 2010.

34 thoughts on “Sea Salt – An Indispensable Commodity for Uncertain Times”

  1. Excellent article. I can tell you did your homework on this one. I'm normally not concerned what salt I use, but I'm going to try out your sea salt now.
    Sea salt usually has a natural low level of iodine, unlike most land-locked salt sources. Iodine is a must in your diet. Thyroid tumors called goiters occur without it. Not MAY occur, it's WILL occur. In this country goiters (sometimes huge lumpy protrusions on the neck) were a somewhat common site on older folks. They are still seen in 3rd world countries. It is a law in India, that NO salt may be sold without it. It's one of those things you only need a tiny bit of, but you really do need it.

    1. TheSurvivalMom

      Roxanne has definitely done a lot of research into this. We always use kosher salt for everything but baking, but I'm very interested in buying Celtic Sea Salt for all the reasons she mentions.

  2. Anyone who was a fan of the "Jericho" television series will recall that the town's salt mine was its primary asset for trading after the nation was nuked. The town's mayor (played by actor Gerald McRaney) gave an eloquent historical account of the history of salt in commerce and its contemporary usefulness.

    I'll bookmark this Celtic Sea Salt for future order (after Memorial Day). I hadn't realized the extent to which processing leaches out salt's finer qualities. Thanks!

    1. TheSurvivalMom

      I'll have to see if I can track down that episode on hulu, my new favorite website since we gave up our cable TV!

  3. Survival Blogs

    Great article. In addition, table salt acts as an inflammatory agent for your body. Sea Salt does not.

  4. Can anyone link a reliable source w/ instructions on dehydrating / preserving w/ sea salt?
    How much should I stockpile???

    1. SouthernBelle

      RIghtWingMom, that is a great question!! I know most rec. 8 lbs per person of 'salt' per year. From my reading most rec. kosher salt for preserving. Since we use large sea salt (w/ a grinder) I've been doing the rec. and stocking kosher for preserving. It would be great if someone knew if you could use sea salt the same as kosher!!

      1. TheSurvivalMom

        I'm going to pass these questions on to Roxanne, since she is an expert when it comes to salt. I'll research this a bit myself and see if I can come up with answers as well.

  5. Another thing to add– sodium is necessary for your body to function at all! The electrical currents that carry messages from the brain to anywhere– including the currents that prod the heart into beating– rely on the body's sodium to carry the charge. Even being low on sodium can make you sick– I found this out making my way through the Belizian Jungle. I was being very good about staying hydrated, especially since I'd discovered an allergy to Botlass Fly bites, which spiked a fever in me eventually. It wasn't until I could pour salt on a dish at dinner one night that I finally realized what the problem was. That night, the fever broke and I was good from then on.

    Likewise, the recent problems with Bret Michel's health were in part due to sodium deficiency.
    Salt is very, very necessary for your diet.

  6. Regular Patriot

    Did you guys know that this same post is on TheSurvivalistBlog today as well? Does Roxanne work for Ready Made Resources?

    1. TheSurvivalMom

      Yes. Roxanne sent me the article a few days ago. I knew my readers would find it interesting, so I posted it.

  7. Roxanne L. Griswold

    Thank you for all the wonderful comments and additional suggestions for the use of sea salt in response to my article! I too am learning something new everyday! I simply wanted to reintroduce the value of sea salt, since it seems like a lost treasure waiting to be rediscovered.

    In response to the question whether sea salt can be used in preserving food: And the answer is, absolutely! Sea salt has been used for millenniums before salt refineries were ever developed, or before the days of refrigeration. The only downside I’ve read is that due to the high mineral content, it may discolor food, but it’s capable of preserving food just as well. According to the data I gathered, the sodium content can be compared to that of table salt, but the minerals provide additional health benefits.

    The Celtic Sea Salt® I recommend is also certified Kosher. Additionally, it is used in Adam’s Ranch Olives – amongst many other products – and are the deciding factor in picklers and sauerkrauts, as well as canning and preparing meats, for every usage possible that refined NaCl has formerly invaded. Natural sea salt is also much safer than refined salt for any food or bath grade usage. I hope this satisfies the questions regarding preservation usage of sea salt.

    As far as stockpiling sea salt, it's really depends on how many are in your family, but a good rule of thumb is allow approximately 2 pounds / year per person for consumption alone, then calculate how much you plan to preserve and the salt you will use – add this to equation. We do sell this Celtic Sea Salt in 1, 5, 11 & 22lbs bags available at the link Lisa provided. And that answers the latest question: my husband (Bob) and I do own Ready Made Resources, and have a passion for helping others prepare. I am also studying Naturopathic Medicine / Natural Health and should have my ND in about another year – so I do have some knowledge on the subject to pass around. Hope this helps. And thank you! Roxanne L. Griswold

    1. TheSurvivalMom

      Roxanne, thanks for this extra bit of information! I appreciate the time you've invested in this research as well as coming over to my blog and responding to our questions. Thanks!

    2. Question – What about using the salt used to prepare saltwater fish tanks for use as a medicinal wash for injuries. After doing my own research, it is as close to natural salt water, delicate sea creatures thrive on it, and it has an incredibly long shelf life. Although I fear it wouldn't do as a food source, it would be good to investigate. Thanks for the good info.

      1. I had never thought about using that salt for any other purpose. That's a great idea. I've also heard that antibiotics for fish are safe for humans as well. Haven't tested it out myself, but it sounds reasonable enough.

  8. Roxanne L. Griswold

    You are quite welcomed, Lisa! Research and writing are my passion anyway, so I actually enjoy it, plus I know it's helping others.

  9. Great article! I just purchased a 22# bag of celtic sea salt. My question is, what is the best way to store it? Since it is moist, I would assume plastic bags and metal are not recommended. I am sure glass is best, but 22# is a lot of salt.Also, I have been warned that because of the moisture content, mold may grow inside of your container. What would you recommend?

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  12. well Imfrom the new england region and we have a few recipes.. Brining meat similar to salt pork…. use common rock salt that you would use on your driveway…. five gallon cean bucket…. layer bottom of bucket with 3" of rock salt. Take meat or fat and lay flat No over laying over salt. then 3 inces of salt on top of that.. add more meat and repeat… once full take distilled water and fill to top layer of salt.. cap the bucket and let sit for three weeks……. room temperature..

    for fish……… clean fillet and rub in salt ( see salt0 and let dry in sunny airy outdoors until dry and hardened.. Yankee salt fish…. willl last forever…. you can eat like that or let sit in water rindsdsing it until supple…. it will still have salty taste but will be good..

    you can do the same to thinnly cut meat strips…

  13. I have a local source for 50 lb. bags of "Morton's Sea Salt."

    How can I tell if it stacks up nutritionally to the recommended Celtic or other brand? (I hate paying high shipping fees for bulk items and am hoping its use would be fine.)

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Anytime you have a good source for something, take advantage of it! Maybe you could put the Celtic Sea Salt on a list to buy when you have everything else you need.

  14. You can go to the salt flats in Utah and scoop up a bunch. That use to be a ocean. Would that not be as good as the stuff you are talking about?

  15. Kendra at New Life on a Homestead

    Thanks for this, Lisa! I was searching the internet today for the best salt for emergency storage and came across this article 🙂 Very helpful. Table salt is very cheap to buy in bulk ($5.25 for a 25 lb. bag right now), but I’m gonna try to source out some of this Sea Salt you’ve recommended. Thanks so much!

  16. I think your chart is a little misleading when it puts Himalayan salt at only 4.12%. Maybe you are talking about refined Himalayan salt but the Himalayan salt I buy 175 Lbs. at a time is so loaded with minerals it is dark pink to maroon in color. It comes in chunks about the suze of golf balls which I grind myself. I know you are trying to sell your product but if these ladies are thinking about buying salt for health and preserving they will want the large quantities and the way I buy it I can get 175 Lbs. for what 20Lbs. of pre- ground and packaged salt costs. Google bulk Himalayan salt and shop around.

    1. The Survival Mom

      Hi Mark. I may remove that chart, since it refers to specific brands of the salt. I don’t sell the brand but have considered it to be one that is of a higher grade than others. Your tip for buying it in bulk is a good one. Thanks.

  17. As an answer to a side question:

    I have used for myself animal (aquatic) grade antibiotics for the last 10 years.
    They work the same as pharmacy grade antibiotics.

    However, the strength of animal (aquatic) grade offerings is usually less than pharmacy grade.
    For example, penicillin from Drs. Foster & Smith Aquatics comes in 250mg. A medical doctor might write a prescription for 500mg. This is the only limitation; else wise, they work the same.

    Interestingly, some vet grade medicines, such as doxycyclomin, have been taken off the market over the last few years. I did notice that it is available in powder form now.

  18. What about RealSalt. Reddish cast, gritty. I understand this comes from the Salt Flats?
    How does it compare to celtic or reg sea salt?
    What is the iodine content of it and is it worth storing for food and preserving?

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