Rock salt vs iodized salt

Rock salt vs iodized salt

Salt is chemically known as Sodium Chloride of NaCl

When we were young, salt was produced by evaporating sea water. This was the only source of getting salt and it was abundantly available. It was so cheap that even the grocery traders used to keep it unlocked outside their shops during night time.

Things changed

But, in 1986 things changed. Tata’s approached the government led by Rajiv Gandhi with a request to sell “Iodized Salt”. Their reason was that in North Eastern states of India, people suffer from iodine deficiency and Tata iodized salt will prevent diseases arising out of iodine deficiency.

The corporate lobbying worked. Rajiv Gandhi government banned human consumption of natural sea salt in India and made it mandatory to use iodized salt thought the country.

Since Tata’s were the only producers of iodized salt, they instantly created monopoly in the business. Ladies liked it because the salt wouldn’t get sticky in monsoon or they didn’t have to break rock salt into pieces. Tata salt was sufficient in small quantity but it cost 5 times more than other available salt.

Real story of Iodized salt in India

The real story is not known but this is also true that Tata’s had a huge chemical plant in Mithapur, Gujrat. They used to produce tons of chemically induced salt as a byproduct in the chemical process. Considering that salt cannot be dumped in a landfill because it would destroy farming land. Tata’s crated a railroad track to take this salt and dump into the sea.

This process of carrying and dumping salt in the sea was a costly affair. They followed the Western ideology of creating iodized salt. When the government of India changed the rules, Tata’s had monopoly in the business so they started making huge profits.

When people understood

After decades, people started realizing the bad effects of using chemically manufactured salt.

                The sodium content in chemically induced salt is very high. That is why even a small quantity was sufficient to create taste. Prolonged consumption of this salt created high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack problems.

                To control this problem, people started taking medicines. As a result business of pharmaceutical companies increased. Doctors and hospitals also enjoyed more business.

                Iodine level in the human body is a very delicate balance. If it is not within the limits then it creates thyroid problem. Generally speaking Indians have a balanced iodine level and don’t need extra dose of iodine. The best example is India’s neighboring country Pakistan that produces excellent rock salt. Pakistanis have been using their own mined salt and exporting to other countries due to its excellent quality. They too have balanced iodine level.

                The irony is that after Indians started consuming iodized salt, people got extra dose of iodine that caused imbalance in thyroid function, obesity and other health issues. As a result the pharma industries benefitted by selling medicines to control thyroid and other health issues caused by consumption of iodized salt.

The West and iodized salt

All this is due to the pinch of salt that was controlled by the government. In the United States of America, people realized demerits of iodized salt and asked the government to lift ban on use of natural salt. Government partially removed the ban and allowed people to use natural sea salt.


Syed M Faredie