Salt is easily one of the most important ingredients preppers should have in their pantries. For starters, salt is a key ingredient in the daily diet of humans. It supports healthy muscle and nerve function and regulates the fluids in the human body. Plus, salt enhances the flavor of virtually any food and preserves food, too.
Salt also has a wide range of uses outside the kitchen, from soothing a sore throat to making soap. Additionally, salt is cheap to buy and lasts for many months.
Top reasons to store salt
Here are the top three reasons you should have salt in your prepper's pantry:
1. Salt has health benefits.
Salt is essential for human survival. The sodium in salt is important for maintaining fluid balance in your body. Sodium also ensures that nerve impulses are effectively transmitted and that your muscles contract properly. As such, a lack of sodium can lead to many unpleasant side effects, such as dizziness, confusion, vomiting, fatigue, weakness and irritability.
Moreover, the chloride in salt is necessary to produce stomach acid, which is crucial for digestion. Additionally, salt helps facilitate the absorption and transportation of nutrients in the intestines after they've been broken down during digestion. Salt can also be used to make remedies for various ailments, including toothache, diarrhea and sore throat.
2. Salt enhances the flavor of foods.
Salt is used as a universal flavor enhancer because it can improve the taste of virtually any dish. Adding a small amount of salt to foods will reduce bitterness and increase sweet, sour and savory flavors, which is ideal for sweet recipes. Meanwhile, adding a large amount of salt to foods will reduce sweetness and enhance savory flavors.
3. Salt helps preserve food.
Salt has been used as a food preservative for thousands of years. It helps inhibit the growth of bacteria that can otherwise spoil food by absorbing moisture in food. Potentially harmful agents, such as bacteria and fungi, can't survive in such a dry environment. Some types of salt can also be used to pickle fruits and vegetables.
Types of salt
There are different types of salt available in the market. Some are better for cooking, while others are better for preserving food. Ideally, you should stock up on more than one type of salt.
Here are some of the most popular types of salt:
Table salt – Table salt is typically mined from underground salt deposits and is heavily processed. Table salt also contains an anti-caking ingredient to prevent it from clumping. Table salt is best used for general culinary purposes. Don't use table salt for canning or pickling as it can cause the liquid to become cloudy.
Sea salt – Sea salt is natural as it isn't fortified with iodine. It also contains traces of important minerals, which is why it can cause food discoloration. Pure sea salt is good for culinary purposes. It can also be used as a mineral supplement in small amounts.
Iodized salt – Iodized salt is ideal for when you're not getting enough iodine from foods. It's well-suited for cooking as well.
Pickling salt – Pickling salt is used to make brine for pickling. Pickling salt doesn't contain iodine, anti-caking ingredients and other additives.
Curing salt – Curing salt is ideal for preserving meat and fish as it draws out moisture effectively. It has nitrite, which protects against Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism, in meat. Botulism is a serious foodborne illness that affects the nerves, causing paralysis in some cases.
Kosher salt – Kosher salt is known for its flaky crystals, which are ideal for curing meat. This salt dissolves very easily and adds flavor evenly to foods.