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SPOTLIGHT
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Discovering the salt of the earth

Published on -3/28/2014, 10:05 AM

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Perhaps, just perhaps, I've become something of a foodie.

Just not in the sense as a gourmet, but as someone who has found an intense interest in food -- especially good and healthy food.

But am I a snob because of this? I think not. Rather, it's easy to suggest instead I've gone full circle, around to where I wish I had been oh, so many years ago when healthy eating was a distant thought.

Back then, bacon grease in a coffee can or processed lard was the norm. Ditto for additives we now know are little more than weapons of mass destruction.

Yes, I'm talking fats and salt.

But, you see, I've never been much for eating fats, be it pouring the greasy additive into food or consuming deep-fat-fried food.

And salt has not been part of my regimen. Never.

Suffice it to say, when my dad would unscrew the top on the salt shaker and pour -- not shake -- salt onto his plate, it was an issue of utter repulsion.

My cooking, what little I did, never included salt, except when it masqueraded as a spice or some sort of additive. I've certainly become wiser in that respect and now can read the labels to ensure salt doesn't make its way into my food through some trojan horse.

That much I can control.

Unfortunately, our processed food suppliers simply are trying to kill us.

Either that, or they don't have a clue how to prepare food.

Take your pick, but reading the labels has shown a strong propensity for food manufacturers to rely on salt for flavoring. Sure, it's cheap, but it's bad.

But I still am surprised at how much food manufacturers have remained in the past.

It struck home recently when I went to purchase a plastic tub of sandwich material, never mind my first response was to shudder at the idea of a plastic tub to contain food.

No, when I turned the container over and looked at the ingredients label, I was shocked.

Sodium, it said, amounted to more than 600 grams of salt, a significant percentage of a person's daily needs -- if they need any salt on a daily basis.

But, and here's the rub so to speak, that's for a single serving -- three slices of the paper thin meat-like material.

There were, on average, more than four servings per container, and each container weighed a mere 8 ounces.

Shocking.

That plastic container, and there were dozens on the shelf, were ticking time bombs.

What I don't get is the effects of salt have long been known.

Yet, food manufacturers simply shrug it all away. The grocery stores sell it. And the meat associations want more.

They are all fools, holding fully loaded guns to our head for an interactive game of Russian roulette.

If a bar can be held liable for offering unlimited drinks to someone who kills another when they are allowed to drive away, shouldn't that logic extend to food?

After all, manufacturers know better.

They've known better for years.

Mike Corn is a reporter and Outdoor editor at The Hays Daily News.

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