Salt is a life-saving, multifunctional preparedness item that all households should have stored for long term emergencies. This essential prep contains natural medicinal sources and also serves other tasks as well, including being used as a natural electrolyte, meat curing, assists in tanning hides, and can even be added to boost soap recipes.
Our Survival Depends on Sodium
Our bodies are dependent on small amounts of sodium to perform biological tasks. Specifically, sodium helps muscles and nerves work properly by assisting muscular contraction and transmission of nerve signals. It also helps regulate blood pressure and volume. MayoClinic.com reports having the proper amount of sodium in the body maintains an appropriate overall balance of bodily fluids. Sodium also helps sustain a regular blood pH level, an important indicator of health.
As previously mentioned, salt in small amounts is good for the body. The amount of sodium you should consume daily varies, however, based on a number of health factors.
Table salt is the most common dietary source and contains 40 percent sodium.
On average, one teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium, which is the recommended maximum intake of sodium per healthy adult per day, according to government nutrition experts.
However, there are ways to get your sodium from means other than table salt. From a preparedness standpoint, salt can be found naturally in many different substances.
5 Naturally Occurring Salt Sources
1. Sea Water – Louis and Clark spent many days boiling down salt water to get salt. Salt water on average carries about 35 grams of salt. 2 tablespoons of seawater is your recommended daily salt intake. You want to mix this with at least 1/3rd with fresh water before intake (or your body cannot absorb it properly due to the sodium concentration). Or, you can do what Louis Clark did and make your own sea salt.
2. Blood. Ok, I’m not telling you to go vampire, but there are traces of salt in fresh blood. Those of you who are butchering your own meat can make blood sausage, a European specialty.
3. Fresh foods. That’s right, folks, some fresh foods that are nutrient dense also possess naturally occurring amounts of sodium. Although the vast majority of fruits and vegetables, in their natural state, do not contain high levels of sodium; there are a few exceptions. Some variety of beans are good sources of sodium. For example, 100 g of mung beans contain about 820 mg of sodium, whereas 60 g of garbanzo beans contains 850 mg of sodium.
Green leafy vegetables and roots naturally contain trace amounts of salt, as well. Some of the top contenders include Swiss chard, which contains about 158 mg per 1/2 cup; beet, collard, dandelion, mustard and turnip greens contain about 174 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup; artichoke hearts contain about 80 mg per 1/2 cup, while spinach contains about 80 mg per 1/2 cup. Some other vegetables moderate amounts of sodium are peanuts, lemons, celery.
Further, vegetables and roots that grow in salty ocean water, such as seaweed and sea kelp have natural salts, as well as, omega 3 and essential amino acids and other nutritional benefits.
4. Edible roots. Some roots, such as the root from the hickory three contain higher amounts of sodium. Parsley root is an exceptional root with moderate amounts of sodium. Further, red and gold beets contain around 65 mg of sodium per beet, and make a viable salt substitute. Similar to celery, potatoes have trace amounts of sodium as do carrots which possess 50 mg of sodium.
5. Mineral deposits – Many preppers have discussed purchasing salt licks typically used for livestock to use for long term emergencies. Although they are cheap and contain 50 lbs. of compressed salt, there is some concern with this however, due to the binders in the salt lick. Further, salt licks contains additives such as selenium, magnesium, iodine and other mineral amounts that may not be safe for humans. In this case, it may be better to purchase salt licks to lure deer and other wild animals for hunting purposes. Although this is typically forbidden in many states, in long term disasters, I imagine that those laws will be null and void.
Naturally occurring salt deposits are often found near springs and streams. However, in many areas there are natural salt caverns.
This could give a greater advantage to accessing salt for long term survival – if you are lucky enough to live near these areas. Salt Lake City, UT has a great advantage to accessing salt thanks to the naturally salt water lake present.
Salt in an important preparedness item to store for long term disasters. Along with its importance from a biological standpoint, it will also serve multiple functions in a SHTF environment. Knowing where to find naturally occurring sodium, sodium-rich foods or how to harvest it from sea water will give you a greater advantage for survival.