I like salt. How much do I like it? I sprinkle it on almost everything: vegetables, oatmeal, fruit (not just citrus and apples, but even berries, watermelon, and bananas), and, of course, on eggs and meat.

If medical research is correct, my blood pressure should be higher than Mount Washington. Fortunately for me, I’m blessed with low blood pressure, so salt doesn’t threaten me in that way.

(Please note, I am not a healthcare professional. Anything I say about diet should be taken with a grain of you know what.)

In recent years, I have become a fan (okay, convert) of pink Himalayan salt. It looks good, it tastes good, and supposedly is good for you. (That last point is debatable, but I don’t care.)

Recently as I stood in a local store trying to decide which package of Himalayan salt to buy, a thought occurred to me: how soon will the world run out of pink Himalayan salt? It’s available not just here, but in towns and cities throughout the U.S., across Europe, and who knows where else. That’s a lot of salt. Should I start hoarding it?

Short answer – no, there’s plenty. The long answer, however, is interesting. I’ll break it into three parts: where it comes from, how it was formed, and how much of it there is.


Most people think that because it is called Himalayan salt it must come from the snow-capped mountains of India and Tibet. It doesn’t. It’s mined in the Punjab region of Pakistan.

For many years, blocks of the salt were sold to merchants in India, who ground it up and sold it. The name they dubbed it with gave an impression it came from India. They’d buy it cheap and sell it at a huge markup.

Around 2019, Pakistan cut off much of the exports to India and began selling the product itself. They didn’t, however, change the name by which the salt is widely known.

The abundant salt deposits in Pakistan were formed when sea beds dried up around 600 million years ago. To give you an idea of how far back that was, the Jurassic period began around 200 million years ago, so the salt deposits were ancient by the time dinosaurs came along.

Today, pink salt from the area is not just sold for culinary purposes. It is also carved into lamps, bookends, mirror frames, and other high-end gift items. It is also sold as salt scrubs and bath additives.

Today, there are six mines that harvest the salt that’s so rich in minerals, delicious to the taste, and pleasing to look at. The largest of the mines holds billions of tons of salt, though only about 220 million tons are currently accessible.

Each year, the mine harvests 400,000 tons. Divide 220 million by 400,000 and you get 550 years. So that mine alone, without expanding its operation, can supply us all, even here in Maine, with all the pink salt our eyes and palates desire.

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