Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Don't Forget the Salt

I find that a lot of the time when I am planning/buying my food storage, I concentrate on what could be considered the "big ticket items"--things like the wheat, rice, oats, etc., that are a large part of a meal. (No one wants to be hungry, right? :) I was reminded the other day that I need to concentrate on the "little things" as well--and one "little thing" that is a very important part of food storage is salt. If you look at my earlier posts on food storage amounts, you need 8 lbs of salt per person if you are trying to get enough food storage for a year.

What reminded me of this important part of our diet? I heard the following information about the saying "he's not worth his salt.":

Apparently, in the olden days, salt was a very valuable, rare, and expensive commodity--to the extent that when people were invited to banquets, their importance was shown by how much salt they were allowed at the table. The salt was kept at the top of the table, so those who sat closer to the top of the table were considered to be more valuable. Thus, if someone was allowed to sit and enjoy the salt, and then turned out to be a not-so-valuable commodity, he was considered to be "not worth his salt."

In an emergency situation, you don't want to be caught without salt. Right now, it is relatively easy to get your hands on a good supply of it, and it costs considerably less than large amounts of the "big ticket " items. I have some salt, but need more to finish my supply. I'm going to try to get some in before it becomes an extremely rare and expensive commodity again--and so I have some when someone wants me to pass the salt... :)


MeadowLark said...

Husband made fun of me when I came home with 20lbs of salt. And that's just table salt. It doesn't include canning/pickling salt, which I am now woefully short on.

Good post!

Marie said...

Meadowlark--You are way ahead of me in your salt storage,and you bring up a good point about needing enough for future canning/pickling. Even though I don't know how to do either of those at the moment, I may get some in storage in case I need it for bartering or for learning how to do those very important skills. Thanks for your comment!

The Scavenger said...

We have a little salt stored, not enough. When the girls stop at the fast food joints I tell them to make sure they ask for extra salt. When the bring it home I put it in a mason jar. It's not much but it's free. (with purchase that is)


P.S. good story, never heard that before.

Marie said...

Chris--The salt in the mason jar is a great idea--it is also my understanding that salt cannot go bad unless it is contaminated, so as long as you keep whatever salt you have uncontaminated, you're good to go. Thanks for your comment!

riverwalker said...

All this talk about salt is making me thirsty! If you don't keep enough on hand you may need to go to margaritaville - searching for that last shaker of salt!
Great post!


BTW, Pack a shaker in your pocket!

Marie said...

Riverwalker-- I saw your post on salt, which was more informative than mine, and found out that I have a lot to learn when it comes to salt! I hope I get enough in storage that I never have to go searching... :) Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Also include kosher salt.

We have been living on our food storage for 2 years now. I bought a year's worth of salt in one fell swoop (which is not too expensive, but it has gone up recently), and then shortly after that added Kosher Salt when I started using it to make my French Bread.

What I didn't have was canning salt. I had some green tomatoes that my Sister-in-law gleaned that I wanted to pickle, and I realized that all of my salt was iodized salt.

Spending a couple of dollars is pretty difficult for me now because we simply don't have $2. I found a way and got canning salt. So, the above person's comment is really important! You may think that you don't can things that call for it, but if you find yourself eating your food storage down and running out of fruits and vegetables, you may end up needing more so that you can preserve things from your own garden and others gardens.

Marie said...

Prudent Homemaker--One of the things that I love about the internet is that we can learn from each other about things that we wouldn't have thought of before, or need to be reminded of, i.e. kosher salt. To be able to store enough food for 2 years and then be able to use it efficiently and replenish it is quite an accomplishment. Thanks for your comment.

Joseph said...

Don't forget to at least get some of the salt that contains iodide. Your body doesn't need much of it, but it does need some. You can run into thyroid gland problems without it. Most store-bought table salt contains iodide, but not all of it. Check the label.

Marie said...

Joseph--Thanks for bringing up a very important subject--I usually only buy the salt that does have it, because I don't want health problems like the ones you mention. Excellent point! Thanks for your comment!