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Silent doctors can combat salt

Annette Maynard-Watson

Silent doctors can combat salt

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“Meal components such as cornmeal, salt fish, and salt beef were supplied to the original plantation labour forces. A common meal served in rural areas called privilege blends rice, okra, hot pepper, pig tail or salt beef, garlic, salt fish, and onions.” –
Just mention the word “salt” in Barbados and the reaction is very puzzling to me. My research revealed that one group of people delights in the excessive use or abuse of salt, whereas the other group uses it in moderation. 
I am puzzled because we are constantly warned by the health wizards about how the excessive use of salt can be detrimental to our health. One mentioned health challenge is high blood pressure and statistics continue to reveal that it is affecting many people across the world.
Yet I continue to witness cupboards heavily stocked with salted products including salt meat, salted nuts, salt fish cakes, salt bread, salt cheese crackers, ready salted chips and many more. Are we bewitched by the excess use of salt? This month I want to focus on salt and silent doctors.
The use of salt can be traced back the days of African enslavement. Those enslaved Africans were exposed to salt on the journey from the gate-of-no-return to the port where they disembarked. Additionally, when enslaved on the sugar plantations, their diet included salted cod and beef used at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
On the website, research revealed that “the British eradicated the slave trade in 1807 but not the tradition itself. Salted fish was originally part of the provisions of slaves in the Caribbean; most had to go without fresh meat or fish”. 
We have to take time today and study the passage and the abuse of salt in Barbadian families. Cut down on salt. This is important because it has become a norm to abuse salt and then blame everyone except ourselves for our health conditions. However, I ask: has the historical use of salted products influenced our abuse of salt?
Just cook without salt and offer your friends a meal and listen to the sarcasm: “You want to kill me! This thing ent got nuh taste.” This adoration for salt is serious mental conditioning and we have to make an attempt to change this abuse.  
Also visit a school cafeteria which serves fried potato chips to witness that many students are being taught how to abuse salt. Many are never satisfied with the service portion and “dowse” the poor fries with salt. Silent doctors may break this spell.
• Annette Maynard-Watson, a teacher and herbal educator, may be contacted via [email protected] or by telephone 250-6450.
DISCLAIMER:?It is not our intention to prescribe or make specific claims for any products. Any attempts to diagnose or treat real illness should come under the direccton of your health care provider.