Pass The Salt, Please! Essay

1069 words - 4 pages

Salt acts as a biologically, necessary nutrient for human growth and development. If human beings did not give a damn about salt’s importance, our world would be filled with bland food, filthy water, and deadly disease. History’s first written records of salt appeared in China, around 4,700 years B.C.E. Salt played a major role in ancient history, especially in Roman and Egyptian cultures. Citizens of Rome and Egypt commonly used salt as trade goods, currency for soldiers, religious offerings, and even used in the process of mummification. Modern day chemists found several important ways to use salt. People use sodium today for softening water for drinking, flavoring foods, and for treatment of various medical conditions. Humans and animals with warm blood need salt to live and function properly. Salt serves as an extraordinary resource to the word in various ways.
“Sodium chloride: Noun. Also called: salt or common table salt; a soluble colourless crystalline compound occurring naturally as halite and in sea water: widely used as a seasoning and preservative for food and in the manufacture of chemicals, glass, and soap. Formula: NaCl” (Collins, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sodium chloride)

Around 2.6% of the Earth’s crust comprises of sodium chloride. Earth’s oceans naturally produce salts from the earth’s crust. Underwater volcanic rock formations shift and erode causing salts and minerals from the sediment to dissolve into the oceans. This process gives water a “salty” taste. Drinking water from the oceans causes health problems such as dehydration and hypertension. Ocean water contains bacteria and harmful minerals, rendering it unsafe to drink. Humans use salt to soften water, which makes it safe for consumption. Major salt companies produce salt pellets with sodium and potassium chloride, which cleanse and filter water from minerals that may contaminate the water. Sodium chloride plays a big role, not only in water, but in culinary use too. The culinary industry commonly uses salt to season dishes, decorate plates, and to preserve raw meats. Salt remains essential in food preparation, presentation, and preservation. Restaurants have strict policies regarding salt use due to the fact that some people must maintain a low-sodium diet. Some restaurants are even required to put food items that contain sodium on their menu. Salt will always be a valuable resource to the world.
“Vacuum Evaporation: Evaporated salt is extracted from underground deposits lying anywhere from 500 to 2,800 feet beneath the surface. Fresh water is forced down a shaft, which dissolves the salt inside the deposit. The saturated water, called brine, is pumped back up to the surface where the water is removed through a heat process in a vacuum evaporator. This process yields evaporated salt, the purest of all salts: almost 100% pure sodium chloride.” (Cargill, http://www.cargill.com/salt/about/howsaltismade/index.jsp)
Vacuum evaporation continues to...

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