I haven't seen salt on the supermarket shelves for well over a month. Not a grain. I know there was that panic buying episode due to the 'Aaaagh, there's no road salt' scare and most of that table salt is now soaked into, and cracking, drives and pavements all over the country.
There's not much snow around now. A few lumps of it where it was piled up but the roads, pavements and driveways are all perfectly clear and have been for over a week. Yet there's still no salt on the shelves.
The cynic in me is wondering if the road salt scare was manufactured as a method to rid the shelves of bagged salt, using the excuse that 'someone was in earlier and bought it all'.
Why? Well, because salt costs the NHS billions, you know.
You didn't know? Don't worry. You will.
An American study found that Americans eat twice the recommended amount of salt every day. Leave aside that Americans tend to be twice as big as the recommended size, that the recommended amount is another of those 'one size fits all' diktats and that most of that salt comes from processed food, not the salt shaker, and just believe. Believe that it's costing the American healthcare system billions. Now they are moving to an NHS model, they'll find all sorts of bans can be justified because the Terrible Thing costs the taxpayer money. They'll soon find that it's easy to get the mob onside if they think it's costing them personally.
This study has not been carried out in Europe, and yet...
Commenting independently on the study’s findings, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) welcomed the results as underlining “the urgent need for public health measures to substantially reduce the population’s salt intake across Europe”.
There has been no study claiming that Europeans eat twice the daily made-up number of salt grains. There won't be. It started in America, you know.
Professor Frank Ruschitzka, a cardiologist from the University of Zurich and spokesperson for the ESC said: “This study provides excellent ammunition both to convince patients about the benefits of reducing their individual salt intakes and also to persuade the EU of the urgent need to introduce legislation to restrict the salt content of processed foods.
Next time you visit the doctor, arrive early. He has a whole speil to go through before you get anywhere near discussing what's wrong with you. How much you smoke and/or drink, how much fat you eat, your waist size, how much exercise you do and now how much salt is in your diet. Then he'll take your blood pressure, which by this time is guaranteed to be too high. Try not to grind your teeth too hard or he might section you.
“This study represents the evidence that a reduction of salt intake not only lowers blood pressure but also prevents cardiovascular events. The case for population-wide salt reduction is now compelling,” he added.
Population-wide salt reduction. Another population-wide control which will also apply to those who cook fresh food and don't add salt when cooking. Based on a study carried out on a different continent, with a different food culture entirely, we are to reduce our salt intake or else.
It's not salt that puts up blood pressure and causes heart attacks. It's the unrelenting nagging from unelected little Righteous dictators that does it.
Best look up the symptoms of salt deficiency and watch out for them. It'll be joining rickets and scurvy as the next thing doctors will be surprised to see making a comeback in an allegedly civilised society.
Oh, and if you see a bag of salt, buy it. It doesn't go off. Keep it dry and you can store it for decades.
UPDATE: Longrider has another source. Apparently the American study on which the calls for restrictions are based was... a mathematical model.
In other words, no actual people were studied anywhere. The entire research project was based on a computer-generated simulation. Yet this is hailed as Great Science and will be used to push for controls on our lifestyles.
We've been here before...