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April 9, 2017

Salt grinders are bullshit + Organic spices are a racket

I’m not done with salt yet: Don’t put your salt in a grinder. All you’re doing is making your salt smaller than it was before. Unlike pepper, which is actually processed in the grinder, salt does not need to be ground and is not fresher after coming out of a grinder. It’s just smaller. Use a shaker.
There’s a whole other piece to be written about organic spices, but the short version is that demanding organic spices is never going to be good for the farmers growing them. The U.S. standards for organic products amounts to ridiculously expensive and oftentimes unnecessary practices for small farmers who just don’t have the resources to do it. There are plenty of ways to arrive at ethical treatment of animals and land that are not part of our complicated organic laws. And that’s not to mention the people who demand organic products but will also freak out at the sight of a bug or won’t buy something that’s even a little bit misshapen or with a tiny brown spot on it. You can have pesticides or you can have pests. -- The A.V. Club

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 9, 2017 11:09 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

I agree with most of this but, a salt grinder will make the same amount of salt taste saltier. This is great for popcorn or to simply reduce salt intake since less tastes like more.

Posted by: GoneWithTheWind at April 9, 2017 11:20 AM

Posted by: Bill Jones at April 9, 2017 5:05 PM

Keep a sealed bottle of real vanilla in your first aid kit as a dental pain reliever. If not sealed it will evaporate over time and if you have ever had tooth pain you'll appreciate the suggestion.

Uncap the bottle, remove the seal, hold a tightly wadded paper towel over the opening and turn it upside down for a moment saturating it.

Then quickly hold that wad tight against the painful tooth for a full minute.

Within 10 seconds the pain will completely disappear.

In fact, it will vanish so fast that it will leave a weird vacuum in it's place that sort of feels like the pain but that too will quickly dissipate.

The pain will stay away for the rest of the day and maybe even indefinitely.

While eating a hard shell taco an upper molar snapped off at the gum line. I didn't know there was a problem with it beforehand. The pain was instant, overwhelming, and went all the way up into my eye and forehead. If a gun was at hand I might have used it. It was THAT bad.

Then I remembered a passage in Foxfire 1 and ran for the vanilla. In a way it saved my life.

Of course this happened on a Fri evening and I couldn't get to the dentist til Mon morning but that single application of vanilla was all that was necessary to make it til then.

Now, there are 2 big bottles of McCormick's vanilla in our home first aid kit and both are still sealed - hopefully forever.

Don't risk the generic stuff or you'll be very sorry.

Since then I've learned that powdered cloves with salt in 2 oz of warm water gargled forcefully around the injured tooth is also beneficial but not nearly as good as the vanilla.

There ya go, your appalachian medical lesson of the day. Use it wisely.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 9, 2017 7:34 PM


Thanks for the tip on the vanilla. I've used oil of clove for years, but vanilla's a new one.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at April 9, 2017 10:28 PM

Huh. I knew about oil of cloves also, from the book "Marathon Man." I will lay in a couple of bottles of vanilla for first aid.

Agree with Gone With the Wind: finely ground salt tastes saltier, so you can use less. But I don't bother doing that when it's going into a recipe. Organic *anything* is a racket, not just spices. But as much as I can, I grow my own. Of course, I can't grow peppercorns or nutmeg. But I can grow rosemary, oregano, basil etc. and various chiles.

Posted by: Gordon at April 10, 2017 7:11 AM

Oh toughen up! Just get a handful of water softener pellets, throw that on your popcorn and see how crunchy THAT is!

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at April 10, 2017 10:14 AM

When salt grinders first started popping up at restaurants, I was quick to scoff. But while I don't believe there's a significant flavor difference, I do recognize that grinders are a much more effective way of dealing with high humidity than the old dry-grains-of-rice-in-the-shaker method.

Posted by: Schill MacGuffin at April 10, 2017 3:42 PM

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