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Homer called salt a divine substance. Salt taxes built empires across Europe and Asia. They even sparked a revolution. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, why salt is no ordinary rock. We'll tell you how it's changed the course of history. Also, the gourmet salt that will cost you sixty bucks for a small bag.
Mark Kurlansky is the author of "Salt: A World History." He tells Steve Paulson that salt made food a tradable commodity and that it inspired revolutions from India to France. Because people have to have salt, governments want to control and tax it. Also, Corby Kummer, food writer for the Atlantic Monthly, tells Anne Strainchamps about French fleur de sel and it's Portugese cousin flor de sal. They're exotic and expensive gourmet sea salts that taste fabulous.
Salt even shows up on Star Trek, and we have a clip to prove it. Also, French chemist Pierre Laszlo tells Steve Paulson that our bodies need salt to prevent dehydration and that removing the salt from seawater isn't that hard, but it's very expensive. Also, Goshen college theologian Jo Ann Brant talks about interpreting the story of Lot's wife, who gets turned into a pillar of salt.
Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 02-05-05-A.
Field biologist Alan Rabinowitz has spent decades studying tigers and leopards in Thailand. His book "Beyond the Last Village," recounts his time in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma.) He tells Steve Paulson that even the Burmese government didn't really know what was there. He found a new species of deer; met the remnants of a tribe of pygmies who've chosen to let their race become extinct; and learned that the locals hunt animals for the Chinese medicine trade in exchange for salt.
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