The Salt Imperative

Appears in

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

  • About
When our daughter comes home for a visit, she watches me like a hawk while I am in the kitchen. The girl has a problem. On the one hand, she is starved for good home cooking and a return to the old ways; on the other hand, she lives in mortal fear of common table salt. It’s a miserable dilemma, in that you simply can’t have good cooking without a little salt. It’s a gustatory necessity.

The trouble, I think, is that the girl fell in with the wrong crowd. Health-food freaks. Yuppies. Vegetarians. New Agers. Meditators. I tell you, some of our young people are too gaunt and thin and sickly. The worst of them eat no meat and run or exercise a lot—a highly dangerous combination simply because most vegetables contain very little salt and because sweating depletes the body’s supply of the mineral. If these people feel weak and tired and crave dill pickles, they may very well need some salt instead of vitamins and herbs and zucchini and meditation. Why? Why else would the U.S. Navy have advised me to take a large salt tablet daily when I worked in the hot engine room of the USS Donner, LSD-20? Why else would the U.S. Army have issued salt tablets to soldiers in Desert shield and Desert storm? Because the human body must have salt to function properly, that’s why. It’s biochemistry.