What's the deal with non-iodized salt?

When you buy salt, the non-iodized kind has a label which reads “Does not contain iodine, a necessary nutrient.” Since iodine is a necessary nutrient, what reason would the salt companies have for making non-iodized, and who buys it?

I buy non-iodized because I had a bad case of adult acne a few years ago and extra iodine aggravates the condition.

Because some people want to be free from the Man. The are tired of being told what is necessary, and what is not. They know that the right to be free is meaningless unless you exercise it all the time.

Take that, Man!


Iodine can cause thyroid problems in some people

A lot of people find that iodized salt has a slightly bitter taste, so they don’t like to cook with it.

Iodine can change the colour or taste of some foods, for example when used for pickling.

It’s not that they’re making non-iodized salt. They’re making salt. Some salt has iodine and other stuff added for health reasons.

Some folks are allergic to iodine.

Some unlucky folks have to go on extremely low iodine diets for periods of time, to have followup treatments for thyroid cancer. Those folks are very, very grateful for noniodized salt on the shelves. If you can only eat a very few things, it’s really nice if you can have a little salt with them.

Unless you avoid restaurants and processed foods, it’s a good bet you’re getting enough iodine without having it in your table or cooking salt at home, too.

On a timely note, observant Jews use non-iodized salt for Passover, since the iodized variety includes dextrose to prevent the iodine from degrading, and dextrose is derived from corn or wheat starch, neither of which can be used during Passover.

A niche application, to be sure, but not mentioned yet.

Not so niche, Kosher salt is preferred by chefs for its neutral flavor and ease of handling.

It’s usually the other way round. Lack of iodine can cause thyroid problems. That’s why it is added to salt in the first place.

Right: Lack of iodine causes goiters and mental retardation. It was a huge problem in the Great Lakes region and the Pacific Northwest before we figured out what caused it and began to iodize salt. It’s an important public health initiative, like fluoridating water and vaccination programs. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s been opposed by morons.

“Kosher” salt and non-iodized ‘OK for Passover’ salt aren’t necessarily the same thing. “Kosher” (really, “koshering”) salt has very large crystals and can be used during the process of making meat kosher. Non-iodized salt that doesn’t have dextrose in it can be the very fine-grained “table” variety.

One of life’s cheap luxuries is Maldon Sea Salt. It’s only a few bucks a box and is a completely different experience to ordinary iodized table salt.

That doesn’t mean that although 99% of inland population need iodine, and adding it to salt is easier than getting them to eat seafish, that for 1% of the population, they get their iodine elsewhere fine and the iodine in salt would be too much and cause indeed problems. For every medical “hypo-” problem there’s also at least one person with the exact opposite “hyper-” problem.

You don’t need iodine to make a saline solution for medical purposes.

I had to go on a very-low iodine diet in preparation for radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer. Not only did I have to cook most of my own food using non-iodized salt, I had to cut out all dairy, eggs, and seafood, and anything with artificial red, orange or brown coloring (not all red food dye contains iodine, but some does, so you have to avoid it just in case).

Not fun.

Are you suggesting that Europeans are morons? In Europe, fluoridated tap water is rare and the vast majority of countries in the EU don’t have compulsary salt iodization.

I would challenge anybody to tell the difference between a dish made with iodized vs non-iodized salt. A person may be able to detect the difference if tasted right out of the container, but after cooking? I won’t say ‘never’, but. . .never.