Monday, October 19, 2015

Adding Some Spice to Your Life

When talking about Prepper Pantries, there are a few things that most of us tend to either ignore or forget. The most important thing that everyone in the Western world tends to take for granted is something that's so common in our grocery store and regular pantry, and so easy to come by these days, that we forget that its more than simply a kitchen convenience: SALT.

We don't generally stop to consider that salt does more than just make our food taste good. It provides certain critically necessary minerals in our daily diet, as well. Without it, we will die. With too much of it, we do ourselves damage as well -- especially with our increasingly sedimentary lifestyles here in the U.S. -- but a complete lack of salt will kill us in particularly unpleasant manners.

Salt is so important to maintaining our health that entire economies rose and fell based on salt trade routes throughout the ages. It was worth its weight in gold: spice caravans were raided not simply for the riches that were represented by exotic, rare spices grown only in certain climates, but more commonly to steal the very necessary salt that was always part of trade.

Salt has been important enough in a historical sense that it is only when we reach the late 18th to early 19th century, with the industrial revolution and rapid transportation of goods on a global scale, that salt started being more commonly used in every day cooking and kept as a matter of routine out on the dinner table.

Up until that point, spices were carefully hoarded in the kitchen, to be used with extreme parsimony during cooking. Setting it out on the table for the use of high ranking or extremely important guests was done not simply to honor those guests as an act of high hospitality, but also to show off that you had sufficient wealth that you could afford to put something as critical as salt, and as difficult to come by and expensive as pepper, out on the table for lavish use. Extravagant salt and pepper cellars set out on the table during dinner were the Renaissance equivalent of driving a Lamborghini today.

Salt, pepper, and a few other commonly used spices can go a long way towards making even the most unappetizing dreck a little easier to swallow when you're out camping or en route to your bug out location. When you go out to grab a quick bite of something at a fast food place, do yourself a giant favor and grab a few extra packets of salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, honey, or other tiny condiments. Stash them in a baggie and toss them into the bottom of your bug out bag. You'll thank yourself later for having done so.

Similarly, do yourself a favor and start stocking up on salt now, as part of your Prepper's Pantry, by spending an extra $2 a month on a couple of standard kitchen canisters full of salt that you would normally pick up only when you're about to run out. If things ever go completely haywire and society collapses, having a large stash of salt on hand serves several purposes:
  1. It's critical to maintaining your own health, when used in moderation. 
  2. It makes your food more appealing - you'll be amazed at how much better your outlook is if you aren't dreading fueling your body. 
  3. It becomes a good way to preserve your food (those rabbits, fish, etc that you're trapping for protein) so that it doesn't spoil before you're through the winter. 
  4. It's a great trade commodity, because it will be needed by everyone and they won't think of it until its critical.
If you're fortunate enough to live near an ocean, or where there are salt flats, then harvesting salt for long term survival and trade goods is easy enough to learn. If you're like myself, and live more than a day's drive from the ocean during normal times, then it becomes a matter of life and death to have it stocked up and have a plan in place of how to acquire more when it eventually runs out.

Don't wait until the SHTF to start thinking about salt!

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