Response to salt queries

Tracy Venter, Somerset West

Thank you to Pierre Hofmeyer and Donné Brown (“Salt savvy”, Bolander, August 9) for your feedback on my column “Please will you pass (on) the salt” (Bolander, August 2).

I appreciate your comments, and the invite from Ms Brown to contact her and visit the African Salt Works factory.

It is true that salt processing methods differ from country to country, hence my emphasis on purchasing salt in its purest possible form to avoid any potential negative health consequences, regardless of your location.

The purer the form of food we feed our bodies, the better our bodies can process and benefit from it.

As Ms Brown explained to me, their unrefined Kalahari salt is harvested from and underground lake near the Zimbabwean border (as this water is less polluted than sea water).

It is then pumped into open pans to air dry in the dessert, then trucked to a factory in Upington where it is packed in its raw form.

Salt that needs to undergo further processing is then oven-dried, crushed and bagged (iodine is added to some processed salt products as per RSA legal requirements).

In my original article I listed Himalayan salt and sea salt as preferable choices.

I would also like to add Kalahari Desert salt, which is a pure, unrefined and unprocessed salt, to that list.

We personally stock desert salt in our store too, and since it ticks all the boxes for healthy salt, it can be used in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

I would advise my clients and customers to always look for salt that is free from iodine, anti-caking agents, or flow agents, as these substances can be harmful to the body.

Excess iodine, for example, has been linked to increased incidences of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism (references available on request).

In closing, I would like to highlight that we are fortunate to live in a country with abundant natural resources.

It is up to us as consumers to seek out these natural, locally produced products, and always check the ingredient labels thoroughly to ensure that we make the best possible choices.