1. Ice Swimmer says

    There’s beauty there. It does take a lot of land, but even today, salt is necessary for many things even if we eat too much of it. OTOH, half a kilogram or a pound a year is more than the amount one needs in their diet.

    The red colour of the brine is something on wouldn’t expect, but apparently that’s normal when evaporating salt from natural saltwaters.

    For such a humble commodity nowadays, salt has played a huge role in world history. The Swedish Realm (and especially the eastern part of it, Finland) had to import salt, as the Baltic sea water has too low salt content, so salt of any quality to speak of couldn’t be made (despite many attempts). Fish was dried (less oily fish such as pike) or fermented to save on salt.

    How was it with the Lakota? My guess is one of three possibilities: No salt was necessary, dried buffalo meat kept well enough (but how does one preserve the hides?), salt from the lake Ble Waka Sica (Devil’s Lake) or trade with other nations.

  2. says

    The U.S. was rich in salt, and there were a few different ways to obtain salt, but historically, the Lakota didn’t much use it. It wasn’t used to preserve food, excess meat was dried, and while the Lakota did occasionally bother to pick up salt, it was only used as a condiment, nothing more. Salt was considered to be much more vital by various woodland and coastal tribes, particularly those whose main diet consisted of fish.

    Traditional Plains Indian foods were rich in flavour, and salt wasn’t really considered to be all that, but it was used a bit in some stews and things of that nature. Now, salt is one of the main problems, along with sugar, when it comes to health among the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota oyate. That’s why there are several movements aiming at bringing back traditional foods, because modern diets are inimical to the Plains peoples.

    As for the historical uses of salt and salt gathering, there’s some very interesting reading here.

  3. Crimson Clupeidae says

    but but but…white people civilized the savages!! *spit* How could ‘our’ food possibly be bad for you?!?

    The longest lived people in the world are Okinawans, specifically, the Okinawans that tend to live with a traditional diet of mostly vegetables with some rice and fish. Mmmm…sushi.

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