Plastic is everywhere, and that’s becoming a problem. There’s growing concern about the prevalence of plastic and its impact on our planet in ways we might not have foreseen. Exposure to leached plastic in food has been linked to a laundry list of serious health problems, such as cancer, birth defects, reproductive issues, decreased immunity, and endocrine disruption. We now have evidence that plastic is making its way into our food sources, and a recent article in The Guardian shines a light on research showing plastic in sea salt.
As you can imagine, as a result of this, we’ve been fielding questions from customers worried that Real Salt has been affected. Before we dig into the issue, we want to state unequivocally that Real Salt natural sea salt is not and cannot be affected by plastic contamination. Understanding the concern with sea salt will help you see why this is the case.
The Guardian article reveals that researchers in Spain have declared that “sea products are irredeemably contaminated by microplastics,” an edict that is somewhat alarming. One sea product is of course sea salt. Recently, a study conducted at the University of Minnesota showed that Americans could be ingesting a surprising amount of plastic microparticles from sea salt if they are following the recommended dietary guidelines for sodium—and as you probably know, the vast majority of Americans are getting a lot more salt than that. While no one concretely knows the effects of ingesting plastic, it seems like it’s probably not a particularly good thing.
According to The Guardian, “Some researchers, such as Mason, now believe sea salt could be more vulnerable to plastic contamination because of how it is made, through a process of dehydration of sea water.”
The aforementioned Mason is Sherri Mason, the scientist who led the University of Minnesota research. She is interviewed in the piece. She is quoted as saying, “It is not that sea salt in China is worse than sea salt in America, it’s that all sea salt—because it’s all coming from the same origins—is going to have a consistent problem…I think that is what we’re seeing.”
While we have a great respect for science, Mason got that part wrong. All sea salt does not come from the same origins. Source matters, especially in this case. While many sea salts are made by dehydrating sea water as Mason says, not all is. Real Salt natural sea salt is harvested from an ancient seabed a couple of hours south of Salt Lake City, Utah. The sea existed during the Jurassic Period, long before plastic and other modern pollutants existed, and then receded. Its remnants were buried under protective volcanic ash that kept it entirely unpolluted and unchanged for millions of years. You can learn more about that here. Because it is not sourced from a current ocean, our changing way of life doesn’t affect the cleanliness and purity of Real Salt unrefined sea salt. We also use clean mining techniques to harvest Real Salt, employing hydraulic-powered stainless steel rotary tools and no explosives (learn more about that here), further protecting it from contamination..
If you are concerned about ingesting plastic from sea salt, we suggest you switch to Real Salt ancient natural sea salt. Unspoiled by the pollution we humans create and mined in America with an awareness of environmental impact, it’s a safe choice now and always.