Saturday, March 14, 2009


I love details. I truly do. And digging for them served me well today.

Tomorrows Sunday School class is dealing with Matthew 5:13-20. I was researching some of the key information for the verses.

The very first verse starts out "Ye are the salt of the earth..."
So I looked up the general information about salt; it obviously flavors things, preserves, and if it doesn't have any flavor you just throw it out.

Then I moved on to the other key words.

But the salt thing niggled at my mind and I wondered how salt preserves things. I've always heard of it, but never understood the science behind how it works. It's just one of those things that you know - but don't understand.

So I looked it up. One of the most interesting things I found was a simple easy to read page.

When you use salt to preserve stuff, here's what happens:
  1. Salt shifts the growth conditions to favor positive pathogens instead of negative bacteria.
  2. Salt removes water from the food which further prevents bacteria from growing because bacteria uses the water to grow.
So when you apply the salt, the odds shift from the bad bacteria to the good pathogens, and the environment that bad things need in order to grow and survive is dried up.

I tend to focus on the savory part of salt. Salt makes things taste good. There's nothing like a buttered up piece of corn on the cob with a good sprinkling of salt.
I love me some salt.
Often though, because the flavor of salt is so noticable, the preservative capabilities tend to be overlooked.

But I've had a couple of talks with people this week where they were really encouraging the idea of tolerance and open-mindedness. Those two conversations came to mind as I was thinking about salt. I can add a lot of spices that make things "taste" good. I can be open-minded to others using spices also rather than salt. But hours later, our tasty things will have invisible bacterias growing away, and with time, visible bacteria will be growing.

The difference is what lasts. The difference is surface & taste vs. depth and physical change.

The entire brief study just reminded me that my life needs to preserve something on this earth, not just make it taste good for a bit.
I don't want to be the spice of the world.
I want the world to have some salt.
Life changing, environment changing, positive pathogen growing salt.

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