Salt is so simple and plentiful that we almost take it for granted.
In chemical terms, salt is the combination of a sodium ion with a chloride ion, making it one of the most basic molecules on earth. It’s also one of the most plentiful.
But salt is also an essential element. Life itself would be impossible without it, since the human body requires salt in order to function properly. The concentration of sodium ions in the blood is directly related to the regulation of safe body fluid levels.
And while we’re all familiar with the many uses of salt in cooking, we may not be aware that salt is used in some 14,000 commercial applications. From manufacturing pulp and paper to setting dyes in textiles and fabric, from producing soaps and detergents to making our roads safe in winter, salt plays an essential role in our daily lives.
Salt has a long and influential role in world history. From the dawn of civilization, salt has been a key factor in economic, religious, social and political development. In every part of the world, salt has been the subject of superstition, folklore, and warfare, it has even been used as currency.