Salt: An Essential in Food Supply
Salt is a very important part of your emergency food supply, but in order to properly prep for any type of disaster, you must know why type of salt to get and how to properly store it.
Uses for Salt
- Health: Too little salt can cause your body to retain water, and it can cause your muscles and neurons to malfunction.
- Flavor Enhancer: If you’re in the military or have ever lived off of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), then you know that it’s nice to come home and eat real food. Food prepping involves the storage of “real food,” but it won’t taste great without the addition of the world’s favorite spice.
- Food preservative: If you are living in survival mode, food preservation can mean the difference between health and life-threatening illnesses caused by food-borne bacteria and fungi. Salt dehydrates meat and makes it an environment where most food-borne illnesses cannot grow. Note: it takes a significant amount of salt to preserve food.
How much salt should you store?
There are differing opinions about how much salt you should store, but the number falls around 5 to 10 pounds per person per year. If you have the storage space, shoot for 10 lbs. to be safe.
If you are storing pure salt properly, it has a limitless shelf life. Iodine and anti-caking ingredients limit that shelf-life. In order to store salt long-term, it must be stored in an air-tight container. The cardboard cylinders it comes in at the grocery store are not suitable for long-term storage because salt will act as a dehydrator and pull water from the air even through the cardboard. That doesn’t mean that you have to remove salt from its container, but that container should be placed in something that will not let any moisture get in. Don’t use metal containers, as salt will corrode it.
What type of salt?
It is good to have a mix of salts available to meet your needs in a survival situation. Iodine is an essential nutrient for survival that can be lacking in some long-term food storage, but it has a short shelf life of 5 years. Table salt and canning/picking salt, on the other hand, has a limitless shelf life. Pink Himalayan salt offers many other nutrients in its salt. What you want to do is make sure you have enough in long-term storage, make sure the ingredients are salt-only for long-term storage, and make sure the types of salts you store meet your survival needs but also your personal taste.
Storing salt is an essential part of emergency food storage. Do it right, and you’ll have an element in your food supply that will add pleasure to the eating experience but can also be used for trading purposes.
- Tim Anderberg