Early farming causes people to eat mainly grains like rice, wheat, barley, and millet, and very little meat. Salt is rare and very important. Farm animals, such as cows and sheep, need salt too. Lacking refrigeration, farmers, fishermen, and hunters discover salt as a preservative to make bacon, ham, and salted fish.Chinese harvesting of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake is an example of one of the oldest systematic saltworks ever found. Salt is mined by slaves and even entire villages. Assyrians initiate the practice of salting the earth as a military tactic to destroy enemy farmlands.Egyptians begin exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for expensive luxuries. The Phoenicians trade Egyptian salt fish and salt from North Africa throughout their Mediterranean empire. Pure salt is included among funereal offerings in ancient Egyptian tombs which included salted birds and fish. Saharan salt routes are heavily protected to keep the trade flourishing. Salt came from Libya, Tunisia, and Nubia. Evaporated seawater from the Mediterranean Sea becomes a source of salt.
The early European Celts of Hallstatt (meaning \"salt town\") begin mining salt. The Germanic root word \"salz\" means \"salt,\" hence the names for key towns of Salzburg, Hallstatt, and Hallein, which lie on the Salzach river in central Austria. Hallstatt literally means \"salt town\" and Hallein \"saltwork\". Salzach stands for \"salt water\" and Salzburg \"salt city\".China produces salt by filling clay jars with ocean salt water and boiling away the water until only the salt remains.The Hallstatt Celts, who originally mined for salt, begin open pan salt making. During the first millennium BC, Celtic communities grow rich trading salt and salted meat to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in exchange for wine and other luxuries. The Italian Etruscans, the early Romans, and the Carthaginians in North Africa, also discover evaporation to produce salt.
Salt production is extremely important to the Romans. The Via Salaria (originally a Sabine trail), leading from Rome to the Adriatic Sea is built in part to facilitate salt transportation. The Roman Republic and Empire carefully control the price of salt, increasing it to raise money for wars. The word salad literally means \"salted,\" and comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables. Caravans with as many as forty-thousand camels travel four hundred miles of the Sahara bearing salt and slaves to inland markets.
A new age of salt dawns when Smart Salt, a salt with the same flavor and cooking properties as sodium chloride is brought to the market. While it tastes the same and has all the preservative qualities of traditional salt, it contains up to 60% less sodium than traditional salt, making it possible to drastically reduce sodium content in prepared and processed foods from factories, restaurants, and at home. Smart Salt includes potassium and magnesium, both essential minerals for good health.