Is Grey Salt Worse Than Table Salt?

--- What's the Grey in Grey Salt Anyway? ---

For years we've been using Grey Salt from Brittany France.

The story I'd always heard was Grey Salt had the best
mineral spectrum. After you've read this article, you be
the judge.

--- Our Saga Begins ---

Our saga begins several weeks ago. We had many salt orders:

   Radical Health Catalog

and placed an order with our regular salt supplier. When our
salt arrived, it's color was white and by the texture it was
evident it was highly processed.

We called our supplier and were told they were shipping salt
from Portugal as the salt crop had failed in Brittany France.
Failed you might ask? I know I did.

Turns out there's been a huge oil spill off the coast of
Brittany France, which polluted the salt, in the extreme. The
spill occurred in November and began reaching the French
shoreline in January.

A whopping "77 Tons", 144,000 pounds of oil was dumped. One
news story about the spill is here:

   Yet Another Massive Brittany France Oil Spill

The next harvest is expected to start in October-December 2003,
with shipments beginning several weeks later. If you're buying
Grey Salt, expect prices to increase substantially.

--- The Great Salt Hunt Begins ---

Well, the Portuguese salt was unacceptable and will go back
to the supplier from whence it came, Freight-On-Delivery.

After attempting to purchase Grey Salt from anywhere I could
and finding all supplies snapped up and prices through the
roof, I went back to our original salt broker from years ago.
They're a bit on the expensive side, however they know salt
inside and out.

Here's what they told me.

--- Grey Salt Antagonistic to Living Organisms ---

Our broker said they had several hundred pounds of Grey Salt
in stock they could sell me, however because they know how
zealous Raw Fooders are about pristine products they suggested
I might choose a different salt. Here's why.

It turns out our salt broker is in many businesses, including
being the largest company to manufacture and private label
unpasteurized Miso. We're talking extremely large quantities
of Miso cultured in multi-1000 gallon tanks.

As such they use a lot of salt and this is why they got into the
salt business. They frequently buy train car size containers of
sun dried (Raw) sea salt.

Around the end of 1999, they began having problems with their Miso
process. Miso is made by cooking soybeans, then inoculating the
soybeans with a living bacteria culture to pre-digest (ferment)
the soybeans into highly digestible protein.

The problem was, all of a sudden much of their bacterial culture
began dying just after inoculation. They checked their process.
They checked their soybeans. No one could make any sense of what
was happening, until someone checked the salt.

They ran assays and found high levels of petrochemicals and
other toxins. Their conclusion was determining Grey Salt, in
the current environmental situation is highly antagonistic to
living organisms.

--- All Clouds have Silver Linings ---

Our salt broker could have inflated their prices and sold us
their remaining stock of Grey Salt. Instead they gave us the
hard truth about Grey Salt.

Then they went a step further. They shared their analysis of
salt from America, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Every salt except
one caused a various degrees of die off in their Miso culture.

They ran assays and found high levels of petrochemical and
other pollutants in every salt, except one.

As a result, they only carry this single type of salt. Based
on their experience with bacterial cultures and chemical assays,
this salt is the cleanest, most Raw salt they can find.

And now we have Sun Fire Salt also!

--- Sun Fire Salt ---

The process of creating Sun Fire Salt is fascinating.
This salt is dried in China. The process and the equipment
date from the Ming Dynasty.

Sea water flows into large, open air, stone holding pools and
is dried slowly by the sun. As the water evaporates, more water
flows in, until finally the water saturates with salt and the
salt precipitates out.

You can do see how this works by pouring salt into a glass of
water, while stirring the water. For a while the salt you pour
dissolves and is held in solution. Then the water saturates
and as more salt is poured in, it precipitates, or falls to
the bottom of the glass.

After salt accumulates in the bottom of these ancient stone
pools, the salt is harvested and dried a bit more. Then it's
bagged and shipped.

Low tech all the way. My kind of salt!

--- What's the Grey in Grey Salt Anyway? ---

I grew up on a working farm. Crops were grown for market.
If we had a crop failure, plates were empty and times were
hard. My father taught us the fine art of critical thinking
by his daily example. I learned to always look past common
belief to what was going on behind the scenes.

After my great educational adventure into the world of salt, I
began looking behind the scenes of salt. Considering the
different colors and qualities of salts. I then realized
several of beliefs about salt were now suspect.

1) I had always believed bright white salt was processed. This is
   incorrect. Color alone, is an insufficient test for the quality
   of salt.

   Other attributes have to be considered, including moisture content
   and regularity of salt granules.

   My new rule of thumb is, "salt is good if it":

      - has high water content

      - has irregular granules

      - supports bacterial life (Miso cultures)

2) I had always believed Grey Salt was good. My belief was based on
   numerous research articles written about different salts.

   The challenge here is our environment is constantly changing, so
   Grey Salt may have been the best at one time.

   Today I prefer Sun Fire Salt.

3) I had always believed Grey Salt derived its grey color from the
   mineral content of the surrounding ocean floor.

   Now I wonder if the grey color, which seems to have become greyer
   over time, may be due more to pollutants than the ocean floor
   mineral content.

--- What Next ---

For now the only salt we'll be carrying is Sun Fire Salt. You
can check our catalog here:

   Radical Health Catalog

Since very few people have access to the Chinese salt-works we use,
supplies appear plentiful. This means we can offer this salt at our
usual investment, $10/pound.

If you come across any other interesting research on the changing
state of Grey Salt, please forward me what you find.

Enjoy your best, most salty, mineral rich day ever!

- David

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