Salt ! Salt ! Salt !

2020 . 11 . 02

Because Japan is surrounded by the sea on all sides, we use “Sea salt” for cooking.
There are sea salt, rock salt, and lake salt in the world. Moreover, cooking in sea water without making salt is one of the traditional cooking methods that still remain in Tonga.
They cut fish in seawater and eat it as it is ,or boil fishes or meats in seawater,,,, muuuhhh, yummy !!
I remembered thinking in Tonga
‘What the reason we make salts ? If we live near the sea, there would be no needs to make it.”

It is said that we cannot live without water and salt for 10 days but we can survive more than a month with water and salt !! Even so, I couldn’t be aware of how to relate “ seawater cooking “ with health. I’m very ashamed of it.

The trigger was Mr. Ogawa who makes natural salt from seawater in Kamigoto island, Nagasaki prefecture.
He lit a fire in me with a passionate explanation.
My Health Otaku part was very busy like
“ What is the impact of seawater cooking on our health? “
“ Can I investigate the health program of Tonga due to coming back to Japan ? “
The function of our body, traditional dishes of each country and the relationship between health and disease circulated around in my head.

The key to making natural salt is the temperature determining the composition and the taste of salt.
Whether how much ‘Nigari’ component should be left in the salt or how much should be taken out as ‘Nigari’ itself.
The main mineral of Nigari, Magnesium or Potassium, makes the sweetness of natural salt. At the same time, it is said that too much Magnesium will cause diarrhoea. ( It means that we will be malnutrition after we could not absorb any nutrition. ) but Magnesium is needed to build bone and muscle.

In order to maintain body function or heart pump, It is necessary to balance the minerals ,such as Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, iron etc, in the blood.
The other example, when only sodium comes in, blood pressure rises to expel sodium. However, taking enough potassium ( there are a lot of raw vegetables and fruit ) which combine with sodium, will make it easier to maintain body function.

That is why people have made salt without using seawater, Mr Ogawa said….

Yes, then I remembered Tongan seawater dishes!!

Is Magnesium not harmful to Tongan people ??
The way of usage ? The amount ? Will the combination with other foods eliminate the negative effect ?
Does the magnesium from seawater make Tongan people so rugged??

I guess that there seems to be some secrets !!
I’m feeling that one of the reasons that Tongan life span is shortening is that change of habit from seawater dishes to using imported salt.

I have searched for how reasonable the traditional food or indigenous food are for a long term. I hope that showing the comparison of that valence in different countries and areas contribute the hint for global hunger or malnutrition problems.
Now, in Japan where I didn’t expect , I’m feeling the expansion of the possibility !!
How to make seasonings, the cooking way, the cooking time lengthen ,,, etc etc !
A lot of things to look up !!

Although not only Tonga but also some other countries developed without salt-making technique, for many ancestors, they had had negative effects with seawater or the salt might have been easier to use. I think that is the reason why we got many methods of salt.
Well, the wisdom of humankind which has used salt as an important existence and call it which is the etymology of salary. I was impressed by our old old ancestors.

In the 7th century BC, a monopoly of salt was established in China, and around the 6th century BC, salt became the financial base of monasteries in Europe. It is known that salt-making pottery was made in Japan during the Jomon period.

Japanese salt production methods began with direct-boiled salt, and followed by algae salt-grilled salt, two kinds of salt evaporation pond salt, and salt pans with flow-down branch rack salt. However, the 1971 “Salt Industry Modernization Temporary Measures Law” banned the production of traditional salt. Most edible salts became refined salts.
The production of natural salt from traditional seawater was banned until the 1997 abolition of the monopoly law.

From that time on, salt looked like a cause of high blood pressure and people started calling for low salt , Mr Ogawa said.
Is it overwhelming salt intake?
Is it difficult to balance blood due to using refined salt instead of natural salt?
Or is there a shortage of vegetables and fruits?

How about looking back on your eating habits? ??
I would like you to enjoy the deliciousness of natural salt instead of reducing salt for health!

When I went to the Goto archipelago in Nagasaki prefecture, I just wanted to see the beautiful sea.
I wanted to hear the sound of the waves, so I was listening to it anyway.
Finally, it became also the beginning of a journey to the world of salt.

Here is another shock!!
While investigating about salt,
I knew that Japan has the largest salt imports in the world!
85% of demand is imported. It is mainly used in the soda industry, and is used for caustic soda, chlorine, sodium carbonate, etc.
Why did industrial technology improve when there was no material?
Did Japanese try harder because they didn’t have the materials?

Food self-sufficiency rate is 40%, wood of it is 20%, salt of it is 15%, cotton of it is almost 0%.
Japan is full of mysteries. How do we live !?
Even though we can understand the language, we are full of mysteries.

It’s getting colder and colder, but salt also plays an important role in maintaining body temperature.
Let’s take natural salt as much as you think Delicious !!!! and stay healthy! !!

Author ; Miki Kato