Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pass The Salt, Please

With salt under attack for its ill effects on the nation’s health, the food giant Cargill kicked off a campaign last November to spread its own message.

“Salt is a pretty amazing compound,” Alton Brown, a Food Network star, gushes in a Cargill video called Salt 101. “So make sure you have plenty of salt in your kitchen at all times.”


By all appearances, this is a moment of reckoning for salt. High blood pressure is rising among adults and children. Government health experts estimate that deep cuts in salt consumption could save 150,000 lives a year.

Since processed foods account for most of the salt in the American diet, national health officials, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Michelle Obama are urging food companies to greatly reduce their use of salt. Last month, the Institute of Medicine went further, urging the government to force companies to do so.


Now, the industry is blaming consumers for resisting efforts to reduce salt in all foods, pointing to, as Kellogg put it in a letter to a federal nutrition advisory committee, “the virtually intractable nature of the appetite for salt.”

Well, DUH. You put it in EVERYTHING so that our diets are so fucked up with 20 times the amount of daily intake of salt that we are told is acceptable. Hell, even I have to take blood pressure medicine and watch my intake. I've actually switched to fake salt, potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride, and I use kosher salt for cooking (you need just a small amount to get that taste that tons of table salt gives you).

But, hey, by now we know most Americans are stupid ... the dumbed down era we live in, Mickey D's and chicken nuggets and all. Watching the "naked chef" Jamie Oliver's short television show about trying to help American school's change their food program was disheartening. Oliver's efforts were not the disheartening part, it was the pushback from the school system and the government that was shocking.

So, let's keep on being obese and more importantly, eat more salt!


Arno said...

I left table salt alone years ago (except for my scallion onions, encrusted in salt, one of my guilty pleasures...) and only recently switched to kosher salt for cooking. I'm impressed with how little it takes and how much better of a salt flavor it has.

Carrie said...

The first time I used Kosher salt (well, I used it growing up since part of my family was Jewish, but haven't used it as a staple most of my adult life) in my cooking, I used very little, but the food was really salty, and that's when I was really excited that I could get that "salt" activity to my food without all the potential badness that comes with table salt. And when I just want to flavor foods already cooked, I use the fake salt. Hell, it fakes out my taste buds, so who cares, right? LOL!

Carrie said...

I just noticed that you like salt on scallions! So do I! I generally dip them full on into the salt, and suck the onions dry! HA HA. Then, of course, I eat them.