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Salt = crack

May 11, 2010

Member when I cautioned you before about hidden salt in food like Panera?

A great article in Time talks about our addiction to salt, and why part of the problem is that there is no salt substitute. Anthony Bourdain quipped (much like my own mother!) that salt makes food taste like food. It’s where all the flavor is. You don’t have to be heavy handed, but salt brings out other flavors in a dish. We cannot do without it.

The saltier foods are, the more we like them. And the more we like them, the more salt we get. Like attention, praise and porn, salt is one of those instant gratifiers that are easy to get too much of and hard to get by without. The National Salt Reduction Initiative — a public-private partnership that was started in New York City and recently signed on 16 U.S. food companies, including Kraft, Heinz and Boar’s Head — is modeled on a voluntary initiative in the United Kingdom, where foodmakers have reduced the sodium in some products by more than 40%. Of course, they didn’t have to contend with the American palate.

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