Salt is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals as well. Use of natural salt in the human diet is as old as human history. Natural salt is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food seasonings and natural preservatives. It has even been used to preserve Egyptian mummies.
Introducing Dominion Salt
Dominion Salt provide Paraoa Bakehouse with the Organic Sea Salt used in all of our baked foods. The company sources its sea salt from the Pacific Ocean and processes it at Lake Grassmere in the Marlborough sounds.
Lake Grassmere is the ideal location for great quality sea salt…no additives, nothing but pure salt, tasting of the sea. Beside the Pacific Ocean, with those drying Nor-Westers in summer, it is also in an area noted for its high sunshine hours, low rainfall per annum and its warmth (and its wine and its olives). With more than 1800 hectares available, Lake Grassmere is the perfect location for producing salt from the sea.
After the time of harvest, the salt is hand-picked and dried to remove excess moisture then this absolutely natural salt is crushed, either as fine or coarse crystals. It’s not had its minerals washed out and you can see by its creamy crystals that it doesn’t have anything added to it. Pacific Natural Sea Salt tastes great.
Dominion Sea Salt is BioGro Certified and undergoes the most comprehensive and strictest organic production standards in the world.
What is organic salt?
Organic salt cannot be ‘organically grown’ because it is a mineral not a plant. When salt is certified organic the certification refers to the process of collection of sea salt. The salt works must be located in a nature reserve, without risk of pollution to the water, the salt must be produced by hand, without purifying the salt or including any additives, and it must fulfil the high standards in chemical analysis. Packing procedures and facilities must comply with standards set by the organic certifiers.
Non-organic sea salt in contrast to organic sea salt is often produced as follows:
- harvested mechanically from dirt or concrete basins with bulldozers and piped through metal conduits;
- put through artificial processes;
- heated under extreme heat in order to crack its molecular structure;
- extraction of essential minerals to be sold separately;
- addition of free flowing agents, inorganic iodine, plus dextrose and bleaching agents. Potassium iodide is added to avoid iodine-deficiency diseases of the thyroid gland, but due to the high salt diets in Western countries this practice has led to a large increase in hyperthyroidism conditions
The problem with salt in our diet is not the salt itself, but the condition of the salt we eat and the quantity of salt we consume. Table salt no longer has anything in common with the original natural crystal salt. Salt today is 99.9 percent sodium chloride. It has been ‘chemically cleaned’. Organic sea salt is 98 percent NaCl and 2 percent made up of 80 elements. The common table salt we use for cooking has only 2 or 3 elements.
Health benefits of organic sea salt
One element absent from table salt but present in organic sea salt that is important for human health is magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is the cause of many health conditions. Magnesium salts are needed to stimulate white blood cell activity, to promote the action of vitamins, and to enhance the effect of numerous diastases such as alkaline phosphatases. Magnesium salts also have an important role in glucose metabolism and phospho-calcium metabolism.
Salt and water regulate the water content of the body. Water itself regulates the water content of the interior of the cell by working its way into all of the cells it reaches. Once in the cells water cleanses and extracts the toxic wastes of cell metabolism. Salt balances the amount of water that stays outside the cells. Good health depends on a delicate balance between the volume of water inside and the volume of water outside the cells. This balance is achieved by unrefined salt i.e. sea salt.
Organic sea salt performs many other vital functions in the body:
- regulates blood pressure – in conjunction with water. As with all things moderation is the key;
- extracts excess acidity from the cells in the body, especially the brain cells;
- balances the sugar levels in the blood – a needed element in diabetics;
- generates hydroelectric energy in the cells;
- allows the nerve cells to communicate and process information all the time the brain cells are active – from the moment of conception to death;
- allows the absorption of food particles through the intestinal wall;
- clears the lungs of mucous and sticky phlegm. It is particularly important for people with asthma and cystic fibrosis;
- is a strong natural antihistamine;
- prevents muscle cramps;
- prevents excess saliva production;
- makes good bone structure. Osteoporosis is a result of salt and water shortage in the body. 27 percent of the body’s salt is in the bones. Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from the body. Bones are 22 percent water;
- regulates sleep.
- Prevents gout and gouty arthritis.
Sea Salt varieties
Common iodized table salt is now being complemented by sea salts of all kinds that vary in color and mineral content. These salts are culled from the sea and not mines, where the sodium is stripped and iodine added back in. Organic Gray and Celtic Gray sea salt differ in several regards. Organic Gray Sea Salt
The certification process of organic gray sea salt has not yet been completed (as of 2011) but the name refers to the quality of the ingredients and the process. This sea salt is harvested from a light film of salt that forms during the evaporation of sea water. It is harvested in France and uses traditional, Celtic, hand cultivation methods. Celtic Gray Sea Salt
Celtic Gray sea salt is harvested in the same manner as organic gray sea salt, but the ingredients and the process may not be as clean or pure as salt labeled organic. The color comes from the minerals that line the ponds where the saltwater is found and is collected using traditional wooden tools and hand cultivation methods.
Celtic Gray sea salt is collected using traditional wooden tools from the light layer of salt found in ponds on France’s Brittany coast. The salt flats hold natural salt that is collected from the tidal fluctuations, sea sprays and natural flows of sea water. The highest quality flats are constantly fluctuating and therefore hold salt that has an optimal level of mineral integration. Salt workers hand rake the salt flats gently over time and collect the gray crystals for use in many things, including food and skin care products. Other Salts
Kosher salt is the third primary category of salt, besides table salt and sea salts. Sea salts include a wide variety of colors and origins, all of which include minerals that are often not found in many of our other foods. Besides gray salt, there is black salt, Hawaiian salt, coarse salt, flake salt, flower of salt, French sea salt, grinder salt, Italian sea salt and smoked sea salt. Even though gray sea salt does come from France, it is not comprised of the same minerals as French sea salt, as they are collected from different regions.
As consumers become more aware of the benefits of organic sea salt they have moved into gourmet sea salt. These specialty salts include organic sea salts from certain regions that carry their own distinctive colour, flavour and crystal sizes.