Salt, or Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is everywhere. A necessary mineral for life on Earth to exist and survive. Humans have used it for centuries, fighting for it, working for it, and sanctifying it. It is a substance that has been written about time and time again, a substance with rich history and deep cultural significance.
My interest in salt came about recently in the last couple years. A favourite TV show and a favourite author of mine peaked my curiosity when they mentioned the more ritualistic and religious aspects of salt. The other day I had a conversation at work about why saltwater fish need saltwater. I wondered if they could slowly be weened off of it and become freshwater fish. But I guess that wouldn’t work because of how saltwater fish absorb and use the water in their environment; it’s different than freshwater fish (but I’ll get to that another day). But then I wondered if saltwater mammals needed saltwater because, after all, they breathe air, and there are dolphins in the Amazon… It turns out that it is easier for some marine mammals to live in freshwater than others, due to food source and size. (But again, I’ll get to that in a later post.)
Just the brief discussion about marine animals made me even more interested in salt, and I decided it was to become my newest research project. But because there is so much to learn about it, I’m doing something new altogether. This is the first post in my “Salt Series” in which I will explore the mineral’s use and purpose in history, war, ritual, health, water, animal life, and more. With the help of websites (like the Salt Institute), books, journal reports, and videos, the series will be well researched, informational, and, I hope, entertaining. I’ll even try to do some fun experiments with salt . . .
Hope you’ll follow along on my journey to explore the cultural and scientific significance of salt.