Originally Published: December 20, 2019
People ask me all the time what kind of salt I like to use.
Salt is a very personal decision — with microplastics, Lead, and other toxicants to consider. Here’re my considerations all laid out:
- We use overall very little salt, adding it sparingly or not at all, so that’s the most important consideration.
- However, even though we use very little salt, I would never use any Pink Himalayan Salt for my family — because it is so high in Lead. Usually, it tests the highest, or among the highest Lead-levels of all salts depending on which charts you look at, and which brands. Not to mention some other ostensibly “naturally-occurring” — yet highly-undesirable elements — in the subterranean salt mines where it is found (even traces of Uranium)!
- From an environmental-impact perspective (globally), it is also important to look at how the salt is extracted and how far it has to travel to get to your table. Evaporating salt from seawater seems more sustainable than land-based mining of salt (which = large expenditures of energy, lots of pollution/ water and soil contamination, hazardous mining, and mutilated lands).
- With these and other considerations in mind, we often choose small-batch-harvested, local sea salt, or salt from more pristine waters if at all possible.
- I like Jacobsen’s from Oregon (this is my affiliate link for their product), but I also love Icelandic Sea Salt. Both of these options are very expensive (as far as salt goes) but also very tasty. (If you don’t think of salt as “tasty,” you have to at least try one of these options once — the flavor is full and very distinct from your mom’s or grandma’s ol’ Morton* salt!)
- If we’re broke, and we run out of salt, we sometimes buy sea salt of European origin (I think it is either French or maybe Spanish — sorry not to have more info), that they have in larger packages (tall cardboard tubes) at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I will update this post with a photo and more info for this as soon as I have it.
- We often also buy sea salt in bulk at our local organic co-op, People’s, here in Portland.
- *For economy, I do buy Morton’s — for making homemade Play-Doh!
Another salt I also avoid…
In addition to avoiding Pink Himalayan salt, I would also never buy any Redmond (“Real Salt®“) products — because, in my opinion, the company has consistently behaved unethically concerning the Lead content of their products over the course of the past several years (specifically as evidenced by their deceptive marketing and product design with their toothpaste products).
Wait, what? Why exactly do you avoid Redmond-brand products?
This consideration is not based on the quality of their salt per se, but only a ethical/political perspective based on the company’s track record as a whole. The company that owns Real Salt® also owns Earthpaste®, which is a product that is confirmed to have high levels of Lead, yet which they continue to market to parents — for use by children — with their “Silly Lemon” flavor recently renamed “Lemon Twist.” While the packaging now either implies or states that it “should not be used by children” (as it has unsafe levels of Lead!), the package still has a smiling lemon on it! You can read more about Earthpaste here, and you can see what I would argue is the deceptive packaging for their “Silly Lemon” product here (along with my proposed alterations to their packaging)! Note: they apparently recently changed the packaging to say “Lemon Twist,” but still with a smiling lemon it is obviously marketed for parents to think it is safe for children to use, in spite of the warning added on the back of the package that it “may not be appropriate for consumption by children and pregnant women.” You can see this new lemon product here.
Thank you for reading and for sharing my post.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!