It’s not surprising we’re so confused about salt. On one hand we’re told that too much salt is bad for our health, it leads to water retention, hypertension and increases our risk for premature death. On the other hand, we’re told that salt is vital to good health and without it we would die. The truth is, what’s bad about salt is what we do to it, how we process and refine it, strip it of its natural goodness, bleach it and mix it with toxic additives. And unfortunately, it’s very hard to tell the difference between bad salt and good salt just by looking at it!
So we thought we’d provide a short guide on how to tell the difference:
Salt is one of the most common minerals on Earth and there are many methods of extracting salt from our earth either by mining or evaporation from sea water. Here in the Kalahari desert, ancient Dwyka rock formations, through which the underground streams flow, are geo-scientifically tested to be 250-300 million years old. The 50km2 salt pan is situated in the Kalahari Desert inside the Kalahari Basin. A remote, pristine and beautiful area where the brine is pumped up from underground streams and therefore isn’t susceptible to pollution. As a conscious consumer, knowing where your salt comes from is the first way you can separate good from bad!
When it comes to being sustainable, we need to ask questions about whether the source of our salt is renewable, how it is processed , does the production process have a minimal environmental impact and how does finished product reach our kitchen? Oryx Desert Salt is locally produced, with minimal processing requiring only the energy of the sun, we use high quality ceramic grinder heads which increase the life span of our grinders and we’ve recently introduced refill boxes so you get greater value for money.
You could say that the difference between bad and good salt is the same as the difference between refined and unrefined salt. According to Dr Brownstein, most refined salt is harvested by mechanical means and before the water is evaporated, the brine is often treated with chemicals such as sulfuric acid or chlorine to remove minerals – seen as ‘impurities’ in salt. Next, water is evaporated under high compression and heat which disrupts the molecular structure of salt. What is left is life-less sodium-chloride. Sue Visser, author and health researcher says "denatured table salt causes acidity, stiff joints, and hardens blood vessels, leading to raised blood pressure. It also amplifies sugar and alcohol cravings."
Oryx Desert Salt has all the essential minerals and trace elements that exist naturally in salt, including magnesium, zinc and potassium. It provides your body with the correct balance of these minerals, as nature intended, so they can be utilised and absorbed for optimal vitality and health.
Refined salt often contains anti-caking, free flowing or conditioning agents such as sodium ferrocyanide, ammonium citrate and aluminium silicate. None of these products have any positive effects on the body. Iodine is also often added to salt along with dextrose, a refined sugar, used as a stabiliser so that the iodide will stay in the salt.
Oryx salt arrives at your table exactly as nature intended – no additives, no anti-clumping agents, no preservatives. Dried by the hot African desert sun. Unrefined and unprocessed. The underground brine lake is 100% saturated, so it takes only 4 weeks for the salt to crystalise in our main harvest season in summer when the temperatures reach up to 47 degrees celcius.
So the next time you go shopping for salt, have a look at the packaging and see if you can answer the questions above. They are worth asking for the sake of your own health as well as the health of our beautiful earth.
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