Mexican salt: A healthy alternative for diabetics

Mexico's fossil salt in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Natural Reserve formed around 50 million years ago

Mexican salt: A healthy alternative for diabetics
The salt is elaborated twice a year. The first period falls between March and May, before the arrival of the rainy season - Photo: Alejandra Leyva/EL UNIVERSAL
English 22/12/2018 12:26 Newsroom Mexico City Slow Food Actualizada 12:26
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Mexico is one of the most important salt producers in the world. Although China, the United States, and India are at the top of the list, Mexico ranks ninth after Brazil and Australia. It is also a matter of pride that in order to extract the mineral, producers in the country use an ancient method that is most appreciated by culinary experts. What’s best is that Mexican salt can be beneficial for diabetes patients.

Through their website, the non-profit organization Slow Food announced the implementation of their Baluarte de Sal de Tierra” (Bastion of the Salt of the Earth) program in the Zapotitlán Salinas community, located in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Natural Reserve, known for its fossil salt, formed around 50 million years ago. Low in sodium, this salt is ideal for people with high blood pressure or diabetes.

The program aims to promote the historic, cultural, and culinary value of this ancient product.

Although there are other states in Mexico known for their salt production such as Baja California Sur, Yucatán, and Nuevo León, salt in Zapotitlán Salinas is extracted in a very particular way. “The salt is elaborated twice a year. The first period falls between March and May, before the arrival of the rainy season. This is when production becomes quicker and more productive.”

“The second period falls between October and February. After the rainy season, when the heat is less intense and evaporation is slow, the production process takes around a month to complete. Known as “Sal de arroba,” the salt extracted during this season is rich in sodium sulfate and potassium. It is often used to feed goats in the region,” Slow Food said.

Currently, it is known that there are around 60 salt producers between the ages of 50 and 60. However, very few young people have shown an interest in preserving this salt production method because the salt is sold at a very low price, despite the fact that the extraction and processing are quite laborious.

Salt is a ionic compound composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl). Each gram of salt is composed of approximately 40% sodium (Na) and around 60% chloride (Cl), according to the Mexican Salt Industry Association.


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