The world’s most politically correct salt

From Amazon:

1. FDA approved
2. Non-GMO
3. Organic
4. Halall (sic)
5. Kosher, and, best of all

Picture 6

Picture 5

And really—approved by the NIH? Since when do they approve salt?

Picture 7

Some of the reviews are hilarious:

Picture 4 Picture 2

Pure sodium chloride (a CHEMICAL) is white, and one reviewer suggests that the pink color comes from brine shrimp.

h/t: pyers


  1. NewEnglandBob
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Organic? Salt is a mineral. No carbon contained in it. Not derived from living organisms.

    • NewEnglandBob
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      If it comes from shrimp brine, it is salted whatever.

      • stuartcoyle
        Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        The color probably comes from iron in the salt.
        I’d be concerned about what levels of othor metals are in the salt.

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted November 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Pink? More likely manganese.

        • Timothy Hughbanks
          Posted November 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          On the other hand, Wikipedia thinks you’re right.

  2. Britt
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I’d buy some if they had a low sodium version.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      You win the interwebs for today!

  3. Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I get the feeling that the comments were placed by a skeptic with a sense of humour 😉

    • gbjames
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      They are written for credulous shoppers.

  4. alexandra moffat
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ll bet that this salt is de rigueur in Portlandia

    • lkr
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      We live in infra-Portlandia, and here, it’s no-salt-anywhere. Food, roads, slugs… We’d probably have goiter, but fortunately the coastal winds bring in enough exploded-dead-whale bits to keep us in micro-nutrients.

      • Marlene Zuk
        Posted November 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink


  5. rose
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    The thing people really want to know is whats the price.Regular salt is what 80cents for the regular size Mortons right.

  6. Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a matter of it not being GMO salt (I don’t think that exists.. yet) but rather contaminated through using the same machinery to process it.

    I am surprised it doesn’t say gluten free.

  7. Robert Seidel
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    The “I’m prepared” comment is really good craftmanship. I wouldn’t quite commit to state it wasn’t meant in earnest. As Poe’s law says:

    Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from the real thing.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from the real thing.

      Sokal it to ’em!

    • Andrew van der Merwe
      Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

      Aha! Cool, thanks, Robert. Reading that was like someone dropped a catalyst into my mind and cleared up something I’ve been wondering about for some time. I am a professional calligrapher and I’ve been wondering about some calligraphy parodies which a Facebook friend shares regularly. I don’t know how to share an example here but they are very OTT, overly flourished, laboured and, to my eye, often quite ugly. Yet, a lot of people are fooled by them, call them beautiful, despite the text which usually mocks the art of calligraphy, e.g. “Dear Friend! I am having a whale of a time doing simply nothing ever since I took up calligraphy. But don’t worry, I met with many people on Facebook all travelling by the same sinking boat. ” and “Dear Friend. Due to occupation of all the available space by this stupid style of calligraphy we are both so fond of I am left with no choice but to send you the actual message by the good old email.” and “This is a fair sample of spaghetterian.”

      You’d think that text like that would provide some clue that they are parodies but you get people wondering why he’d do such “lovely” calligraphy and yet say such undermining things about it. They argue with him about the art actually being a sinking boat, etc.

      Anyway, the penny that dropped for me is that for a parody to work, it can’t be completely indistinguishable, only indistinguishable to some people. The people who get it have to be able to snigger at the people who don’t. Otherwise the only person who has the laugh is the person making the joke. They key is where one makes it distinguishable because that will determine who is sniggering at who. The threshold in the case of my friend’s parodies is a level of how good your calligrapher’s eye is – not a very high level in his case.

      • jesse
        Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:45 am | Permalink

        Just wait until nearly everyone thinks the parody version is the correct version. It may happen!

        Going down another, adjoining road here, I’d like to mention that I’m a professional artist and the email inquiries I have to put up with are absolutely astounding. More than half of them, maybe 80%, are so absurdly written or conceived that I swear to dog someone is pulling my leg. It does not help that after I take the time to answer them, they don’t even get back to me with a simple “thank you” as they might if they were visiting my booth at an art show or standing before me in a real bricks-and-mortar shop. It is very unfulfilling and after 7 years it is still actually quite creepy, especially since they don’t seem to feel they need to identify themselves properly when they do write.

        • Andrew van der Merwe
          Posted November 10, 2013 at 3:46 am | Permalink

          Ja, I get the same thing – especially from people who think my beach calligraphy is a Photoshop job. People can be very visually illiterate – even very clever academics. I find that quite tolerable. In fact it can be enjoyable to explain a visual thing and see the light go on – as enjoyable as it is to “see” something for oneself for the first time. But what I really detest is people who defend their sensory ignorance by saying stuff like it’s all subjective or, worse, think nothing of anything you can’t measure with a colorimeter or whatever.

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to destroy the claims of political correctness, but if it’s Hymalayan salt, then it’s most likely fomr Tibet, which is somewhere between “ground under the heels of the jack-booted Han oppressors” and “a lot less than happy about it’s state of governance.” (“Freedom fighters” do like to ham it up a lot ; but the Chinese government are not exactly shining lights for the tolerence of dissent either.)
    I wondered a while ago about the claims of “kosher” salt, and discovered that people really mean “salt in a physical form suitable for preparing (‘koshering’) meat,” and that afficionados would go on to assert that it formed fairly flat flakes, slightly different taste, that sort of thing.
    You may be able to achieve that form by growth conditions – evaporating on the surface of salt pools, for example. But one of the useless bits of information I filed away when trying to grow large potash alum crystals as a youth was that halite will crystallise into very flattened octahedral plates if gorwn with a percent or so of a particular organic compound in the growth solution. (It’s also got a fairly flat temperature-solubility curve, making it not a good material for home crystal growing experiments. Potasah alum is better by far.)
    The mysterious, flake-promoting organic compound?
    To quote Dylan Thomas, almost, “I don’t drink water because brine shrimps piss in it.”

  9. Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    There is a thriving undercurrent of funny product reviews going on at Amazon. If you want some more mirth, check out the reviews for the Banana Slicer , and the The Very Best of David Hasselhof.

    • Alexandra M
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Also whole frozen rabbit, Tuscan Milk, Bic for Her, uranium ore, and “The 2009-2014 Outlook for Wood Toilet Seats in Greater China.”

    • Taz
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      One of the best is the first review on this page for speaker cables that were accidentally listed for $14,000.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      I saw the Hasselhof reviews a while back, they were hilarious.

      I do love the ‘No chemicals’ statement in the advertising – what the heck do they think salt is if not a chemical? I recall, decades ago, our local Council tried drafting regulations for what their landfill would accept, and sought to ban ‘chemicals’ – as a prominent forensic scientist pointed out to them in a submission, ‘to a chemist, everything is a chemical’.

    • jeremy
      Posted November 9, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Veet hair removal for men. If you can find Amazon reviews funnier than that you’d better have something pretty good. Pure gold.

      • Posted November 10, 2013 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        try the communion wafers

        • teacupoftheapocalypse
          Posted November 10, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          No thanks. I’ve never found cannibalism appealing, even if just symbolic.

          • Posted November 10, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. From the comments:

            “If you know the sooper-seekrit magic spell that can be used to turn these ordinary wafers into the literal raw flesh ripped brutally from the carcass of a famous human-deity hybrid you can turn these wafers into a high protein main course for the entire family. Imagine Jesus in a rich marinara sauce, or for a change of pace a spicy Jesus curry! Add lots of salt, soy sauce, and smoke flavoring to make your own Jesus Jerky. Or you can grind up this wonderful, meaty Jesus flesh and make Jesus burgers, we like ours with mustard, ketchup and a pickle on the side.”

            A ringing endorsement. if’n ever I sawed one.

  10. Steven Obrebski
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Check out the ads for Himalayan salt blocks on which you are invited to cook your steaks. There is some truth in the advertizing. One ad points out that your salt block will eventually crumble. I guess then you will have a supply of steak flavored salt. If you are careful and use non-GMO steak you will have non-GMO steak salt. If you cook chicken livers on your salt block then – oh never mind!

  11. Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    That salt is perfect for all my patients who tell me that they are allergic to iodine. Most table salt, of course, is fortified with iodine to prevent a nasty condition called “iodine deficiency.” Is someone was truly allergic to iodine, they’d be dead long before they made it to my office. It’s always fun to see the look on their faces as the lightbulb goes on and they realize that, no, in fact they are not allergic to iodine.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      What the deuce would give them that idea to begin with?

      • bonetired
        Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Probably Google – that arch-enemy of medical professionals around the world

      • pacopicopiedra
        Posted November 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        It’s a very widespread myth (believed by many doctors as well as patients) that seafood allergies are due to a reaction to iodine, and therefore people with seafood allergies should not be exposed to iodinated contrast dye. People with seafood allergies then often report it as “iodine allergy.” I can guarantee at least one person reading this thinks he/she is allergic to iodine. Hopefully not anymore.

  12. gbjames
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Then there are the Himalayan Salt Foot Detoxifcation Blocks. Helps keep your blood flowing!

    • Merilee
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      How have i ever lived this long without salt foot detoxification blocks??? And Himalayan at that!

  13. Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    You have to admit that a chemical-free salt would be better for your blood pressure than the usual stuff.

    • jeffery
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      “Salt-free” salt would be even better, then, huh?

  14. Richard Olson
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Readers might enjoy this:

    Salt: A World History
    by Mark Kurlansky
    From the Bestselling Author of Cod and The Basque History of the World

    In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substanc…more

    • GBJames
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Great book.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

      ‘the only rock we eat’…
      surely only in the sense that, to a geologist, everything, even sand, is a ‘rock’.

  15. Posted November 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, that’s it for me!! No more of that commercial salt, all tainted with nasty chemicals like sodium chloride!! Maybe these people should separate these awful chemical and just take either the sodium or maybe just the chloride, I’m sure they have a gas mask somewhere in their bunker.

    • jeffery
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      At least it doesn’t have any dihydrogen monoxide in it! I hear that stuff kills hundreds of people each year!

  16. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    “Organic”. =D

    Fortunately the product will help me take the content declaration with a pinch of salt.

  17. Jeffrey Shallit
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    “Himalayan” salt is not from the Himalayas at all. It is from Khewra, Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. But “Pakistani salt” doesn’t have the same ring, does it.

    • pacopicopiedra
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Well, that’s *near* the Himalayas.

  18. Dave
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I am now offering chemical free, organic(!) table salt with free electronics shipping. Just send your check to …

    Also, coming soon, 78% nitrogen for your car tires at 1/2 the price of pure nitrogen – just as good!

  19. teacupoftheapocalypse
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Whether the slat originates from Tibet or Pakistan, I’d want to know who put the work in to produce and transport it (i.e. not kids, especially if the country of origin is Pakistan), what hours they had to work and whether they were paid a decent living wage and a fair proportion of the $12+ per kilo asking price, before I could label it ‘politically correct’.

    I don’t hold out any hopes on any count.

  20. jeffery
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    “Himalayan”? Sounds more like, “Themalyin”…

  21. Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    There’s no hope! Obviously for Burzynski? Plastic flavor injectors ion Amazon?

  22. Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    There’s no hope! Obviously for Burzynski? Plastic flavor injectors ion Amazon?

  23. Stephen Wilson
    Posted November 9, 2013 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    When I was assigned to the US Consulate in Jerusalem in the ’80’s one of the local Israeli employees told me the job of one of his relatives was to inspect food products, determine their kosher/non-kosher/pareve status and stamp the packaging appropriately. He said also that for a fee his relative would stamp anything any way the payer desired.

    So “Kosher” may be relative.

  24. Posted November 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on peakmemory and commented:
    My favorite claim about this product: NO CHEMICALS!

  25. Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    I think I once saw a salt labelled as vegetarian. I’m all for that kind of labelling but I also think that there are some products, salt for example, where it’s unnecessary. It was either the salt or the pepper.

    • gbjames
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      I only ever buy celery if it is labeled “vegetarian”. Otherwise, who knows where it came from?

  26. Icabod Crane
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Bit of trivia: Syracuse, New York is called Salt City.

  27. jesse
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    JAC, I heard that a guy in DuPage county (Naperville, I think) has filled a room with pink Himalayan salt and is charging a fee for people to sit in the room for a period of time. He claims the ions it gives off have some sort of health benefit.

    • gbjames
      Posted November 16, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Here ya go. Timeless Spa and Salt Cave.

      • jesse
        Posted November 16, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        so, why give them a free link????

        • gbjames
          Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          So why bring the subject up in the first place?

          • jesse
            Posted November 16, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

            That is an excellent question!
            I guess I was wanting some interaction from the host of the site because I thought it was added humor to the topic at hand.

            I continually mistake bl*gs to be conversations when they aren’t, not really. My mistake!
            It’s honestly some sort of disability I have in understanding the medium!

            • gbjames
              Posted November 16, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

              These are conversations. And in this one you referred to something that you couldn’t (apparently) remember the details about. So I offered you a reminder only to be rebuked for having done so. Seems kinda weird.

              • jesse
                Posted November 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                Oh. Okay. I understand. Sorry.
                I am a person who tries to sell things on the internet and my thoughts often run to the search engines and what they look for. Traditionally they have looked for links coming and going and they rank sites based on that, among many other things. I don’t really understand it much but it is some sort of complicated algorithm no one really knows except the search engine companies (read: gurgle)
                So when we discuss something that is woo I naturally would not wish to link to it because it would give link “points”. So I guess that is my point of view when discussing this.
                Also, I tend to try to not name things but discuss ideas. I guess I was trying to be nebulous in my description of the business for that reason. Because I am a business person with name recognition, I try to look at negative media publicity as hurtful, but then of course celebs know that even negative publicity is often good publicity, so what do I know in the end, really.
                Hope that explains some things.

              • jesse
                Posted November 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

                Oh and one more thing… not meaning to be confrontational… in my opinion or experience, I do think that these are not exactly like conversations because in a real person to person conv. or a phone conv. I can read a person better, they are a little (a lot?) more private. In a person to person conversation there is laughing, smiling, interaction with body language, and ribbing and winking. Also, conversations are not searchable, forever, with a web search engine; conversations, at least the kinds I am used to, are fleeting verbal things that don’t stay in print for all eternity but are more laid back. Also, I never had anyone tell me to shove it like a certain commenter did last year during the Pi in the Sky post here. I was only trying to figure things out honestly and that commenter flew off the handle. So, in that respect this is why I must have some sort of learning disability or something because I don’t quite think these are like the conversations, at least the kind I grew up with.

              • gbjames
                Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

                Well certainly Internet conversations are different than face-to-face talks. But then the same is try for phone calls, snail-mail exchanges, etc. They all have their strengths and peculiarities.

                I also work in the business world. We’re software developers and I am totally aware of how the medium works. But I also have a background in academic life and value open exchange of information more than I worry about whether someone I don’t like gets an extra click or two.

                In any case, one must learn to deal with commenters who fly off of handles. WEIT is one of the best places for reasonable conversation but even here we get trolls. And misunderstandings. One moves on.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

      I guess that would be mostly chloride ions? Such as one could get from drinking chlorinated tap water?

      Hmm, I just followed the link. Apparently their Himalayan salt contains 84 chemicals our body needs. Quite how these get into the body is not specified. Possibly via the agency of woo.

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