Sea salt is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world, and its consumption has been increasing steadily in recent years.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the global consumption of salt has been increasing by an average of 1.6% per year since 2010, with a total consumption of over 300 million tons in 2018. While it's difficult to determine the exact amount of sea salt consumed, it is estimated that #seasalt makes up around 5% of total #salt consumption worldwide.
One of the main reasons for the increased consumption of sea salt is its perceived health benefits. Many people believe that sea salt is a healthier alternative to table salt because it contains trace minerals and is less processed. However, while sea salt may contain trace amounts of #minerals, the difference in nutritional value between sea salt and table salt is minimal. Both types of salt are primarily composed of sodium chloride, which is the main contributor to health problems associated with excessive salt consumption, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Another factor driving the demand for sea salt is the growing interest in artisanal and gourmet foods. Sea salt is often marketed as a premium product, and its unique texture and flavor can add depth and complexity to dishes. Additionally, the rise of specialty diets, such as veganism and paleo, has contributed to the popularity of sea salt as a natural and unprocessed ingredient.
The production of sea salt is a labor-intensive process that involves evaporating seawater in shallow pools or pans. While sea salt can be harvested from any ocean or sea, some regions are known for producing particularly high-quality salt, such as the Mediterranean and the coast of Brittany in France. In recent years, new producers have emerged in places like Australia, where the pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef produce a high-quality sea salt.
In conclusion, the consumption of sea salt has been on the rise over the past ten years, driven by factors such as perceived #health #benefits, gourmet food trends, and the emergence of new producers. While sea salt may offer some unique flavor and texture benefits, it's important to remember that excessive consumption of any type of salt can have negative health consequences. As always, moderation is key.