Everyone needs salt to stay alive: It’s absolutely essential to our system, and found in most of the foods we eat. Britain alone produces ounce is used up! In fact, we need salt so much that when a group of criminals in Sweden were once given the choice to do without salt for a month, as an alternative to capital punishment, those who agreed were dead within the month! We take salt very highly prized; wars were fought simply to obtain salt, and it is true that as late as this century the people of Sierre Leone were willing to sell their families for salt.
There is a fascinating city made of salt, carved underground in the salt mines of Wieliczka, Poland. You can walk around admiring churches, monuments, streets and even railway stations all carved from salt! And to prove just how important salt used to be to us, our word ‘salary’ comes from the Latin ‘salarium’, meaning money for salt.