Sea salt is salty salt that is made by the evaporation of seawater. It's used for preserving food, cooking, baking, cosmetics, and even as a seasoning on certain foods. It's also known as solar sea salt, red sea salt, or brown sea salt. As the most important kind of salt on the planet, it's used in everything from table salt to many snack foods today.
The process of sea salt evaporation is simple and easy. Essentially, saltwater is drawn out of seawater by a natural biological process. There are two types of sea salt used for this process, organic and inorganic. Organic sea salt is created by living organisms in seawater. These organisms include coral reefs, certain algae, and other sea organisms.
Salt in its inorganic form is solid and often thick. The process of inorganic sea salts involves attracting the negative ions or sodium and chloride from seawater and then letting them escape back into the sea. Organic sea salt can be found in nature in various forms. The bulk of organic sea salts is coarse and either grey-green or black in color. Often, it is the impurities in the seawater that have caused it to develop such complex colors.
As its name suggests, table salt is a salt used in cooking and baking. Table salt comes in a variety of types. The chemical composition of table salt varies depending on where it is from and what part of the world it came from. For example, sea salt and inland sea salt are distinctly different. Sea salt contains more sodium and chloride than inland sea salt.
Salt can also come from industrial processes. De-mineralized salt is derived from industrial wastewater. These impurities can consist of organic chemicals, salt piles, and micro-organisms. Most of the micro-organisms are from living things such as sludge and sewage. Industrial wastewater can contain trace amounts of numerous contaminants including high concentrations of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which are essential to human health.
Many people don't realize that sea salt and table salt are not the same things. Although many would assume so, they are actually different products with similar characteristics. They are both derived from seawater, but they differ mainly in their source. In a process similar to that used for table salt, refined sea salt (processed salt) is processed (refined or de-mineralized) and removed most of the sodium chloride.
Refined salt is generally recognized as less than "natural" sea salt and most people will tell you it tastes bad. Because it is stripped of most of the nutrient content, it lacks many of the minerals found naturally in sea salt and certain trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. This doesn't mean it's bad for your health, but it's not what Mother Nature intended.
For most people, trace minerals make up about 80% of the nutritional value in their foods. So eating sea salts would be like eating table salt without any of the beneficial minerals. Most people would agree that foods should be balanced and nutritious, but if you're going to eat a primarily natural product then it's important to choose your foods carefully. It's better to pay a little bit extra for a product that has natural benefits and is healthier for you to use than to buy processed food that may not offer any more than a few dollars for the salt itself.
Unfortunately, sea salt tends to lose its "saltiness" as the processing process removes most of the magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. As a result, sea salt has lost its ability to impart a flavor that's specific to seafood, such as Herring, scallops, or fish eggs. Processed foods don't generally provide any flavor except for salt, which makes it difficult to eat on its own. Many sea salts on the market don't contain any flavor at all, meaning they can't impart any real flavor or health benefits to the foods they contain.
It's difficult to avoid using table salt shakers when cooking and baking. However, it's important to choose sea salt that's a healthy alternative and won't negatively affect your health. The easiest way to avoid the problems associated with table salt is to opt for sea salt that is harvested from the sea. Not only does this ensure you're getting a healthy alternative, but it also ensures you won't be ingesting unhealthy substances.
Salt is an essential ingredient in many recipes. Without it, our food would not be as tasty and varied. While table salt is fine, it is not beneficial to your health and shouldn't be used in high quantities. Instead, opt for sea salt. It is more beneficial to your health, doesn't have the harmful effects of table salt, and will enhance the flavors of many foods. Making sea salt a part of your regular diet is a smart and healthy alternative for the sake of your family's health.