If you keep up with health trends, you’ve probably heard of pink salt. Prevention.com called it the “miracle ingredient,” and there are claims that it can do everything from offer an electrolyte boost to soothe a sore throat. As a result, over the past few years, pink salt has been reimagined into shot glasses, cooking slabs, lamps, and more. It’s nearly everywhere — including in my mom’s house, where it’s been since 2016, when her nutritionist first recommended it to her. She is a full-on acolyte, devoted to one brand in particular: Premier Research Labs.
In fact, my mom loves this brand so much that, after a few weeks of mentioning it in every conversation, she gave me a small plastic bag with a few teaspoons inside. And her relentless campaign did not stop there.
“Don’t forget to use that pink salt I got you,” she’d tell me anytime I mentioned that I was cooking. “You got to use that salt.”
Naturally, I met the hype with some trepidation. I mean, it’s just salt; something grocery stores fill multiple shelves with. How special could one brand of salt be?
“No, Kel,” she said. “Trust me, this is the good salt.”
After my mom’s unwavering persistence — and, okay, maybe an eye roll on my end (sorry, Mom!) — I gave it a try and immediately understood what the hype was about.
I loved the salt, but I wanted to know more, so I went right to my mom’s source. Dina Khader is a nutritionist in Mount Kisco, New York. One of the big advantages of pink salt, she says, is that it “does not have the additives and chemicals” you find in traditional table salt. Also, because it is dried at much lower temperatures than traditional salt, pink salt has a higher nutritional value, with healthy trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Premier Research Labs goes a step farther and solar dries its salt (as opposed to using industrial driers) — a slower, lower-temp process that results in retaining even more of those trace minerals. Plus, the company doesn’t add anti-clumping agents like refined sugar and stearic acid the way other brands might. And they use only two types of salt. One is from the Australian sea and the other is a pink-hued Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, which Khader says has been referred to as “a sacred health salt.” “The purity of the Australian Sea, combined with the high mineral content of the pink Alaea clay makes it exceptional,” she adds. “It’s a very clean product.”
I use Premier Research Labs’ salt on practically everything: roasted veggies, massive bowls of popcorn, and in a glass of water if I need an electrolyte boost. Whatever I add it to, even when I add a lot, the salt gives a nice kick without that strong, “accidentally swallowed ocean water” sensation you get with traditional salt. I did a side-by-side taste test, and Premier Research Labs’ salt is much more subtle. With regular salt, once I added enough to get some flavor, the dish becomes overwhelmingly salty.
The only downside I’ve found is the price. Premier Research Labs only recently became available on Amazon, where its price seems to fluctuate like Bitcoin. It’s at $18 right now, which is the lowest I’ve seen, but when that price goes up, it’s consistently available for $18 at Natural Healthy Concepts, a health food store with free shipping. That’s only 50 percent more expensive than Maldon finishing salt (and still cheaper than other high-end salts, including Strategist contributor Hannah Howard’s new favorite, Saltverk Birch Smoked Salt).
To me, it’s worth it. I’m willing to pay a premium for free-range poultry and organic produce, so why should salt be any exception? For a little more money, I’m getting all the delicious flavor of Maldon, with the health benefits of pink salt. And my mom gets the satisfaction of knowing she was right.
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