Wednesday, February 23, 2011

52 Week Food Storage Plan - Week #4

Week # 4: 16 lbs Salt

(If you can’t accomplish this in 1 week, don’t worry, just take your time and do it in steps.)

One of the things you’ll need to have in your long term storage is salt. This might not make sense, considering how we’ve all heard over and over again that salt is bad for us, and it’s true that too much salt can cause all sorts of bad things to happen to your body. Too little salt, however, can be just as bad.
Salt is so important that, of the only four basic tastes your tongue can recognize, one of them is salt. Fortunately, it is very unlikely that you will ever need to worry about getting too little salt. Most people need less than a 1/4 teaspoon of salt every day for good health.

Types of Salt:
Salt comes in many forms.  The one you are probably most familiar with is table salt, which comes in iodized and non-iodized forms.  If you are storing this type of salt, it is best to store iodized salt, unless you have a specific reason for avoiding iodine in your diet. (Iodine is an important trace mineral, vital to the proper function of your thyroid.)  Make sure it says “IODIZED SALT” on the container.
Other types of edible salt include canning salt, kosher salt, rock salt and sea salt.  I would suggest storing these only if you already use them as they are specialized.
Inedible salt, such as solar salt and halite, should also only be stored if you have an established need for it. These salts are used in things like water conditioners and for de-icing roads.  They are not food-grade and should not be eaten.

Salt can be stored indefinitely.  Iodized salt can yellow over time, but it is still good.  Salt might cake, if there isn’t an anti-caking ingredient already in the salt.  Store it in an air-tight container to prevent this.  If it’s already happened, just dry it in the oven and break it up.  It will still be perfectly usable.

Salt and sugar, will attract moisture and cake or harden.  This does not mean that the salt or sugar is not usable, but it must be pulverized before it will pour.  By placing these cardboard containers in plastic bags, or plastic water and air tight containers, their shelf life can be greatly increased.
A great way to keep salt from clumping is to put just a little bit of uncooked rice into the storage container. The rice absorbs any ambient moisture and keeps your salt fresh and clump free.

Salt Alternative:
Salt substitute is used by many people who are trying to lower their sodium intake.  If there is a particular brand you prefer, you might want to check with the manufacturer to determine how long you can safely store it

And if you don't particularly like what you have cooked, you might be able to get it down with a little salt added to it to help favor it up. 

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