How much sodium can you taste?

A friend forwarded this article on to me, about how a corned beef hash sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen contains two days’ worth of sodium. I went to read it and I think the weirdest part of it is the defensive nature of the comments.

I wonder, up to what point is a person actually able to taste an increase in sodium in their food? I just find it hard to believe that the thing couldn’t contain, say, 1000mg less, and not have any huge impact on the taste. Since I’ve been trying to cook healthier, lower-sodium meals, I’ve noticed that my tongue has started to sense the real tastes of actual foods again instead of just tasting the salt content (this was something I noticed way back when I lived in Britain and started making a conscious effort to cook without adding salt for general health reason. One would think that the current suggestion within NYC – that all sodium content be lowered by 25% in prepared foods – wouldn’t actually affect much of the taste, particularly given just how much sodium is in those prepared foods.

Oh well, I guess there are always going to be folks who are resistant to any kind of change, whether it’s for their better health, the savings on future medical costs, or the general weakening of a food industry that thrives on feeding us corn syrup and salt. (BTW, did anyone catch “Parks and Recreation” last week? The bit about the food industry head quoting how corn made cows fat quickly was such an excellent summation of the contradiction between the aims of industrial food producers and the desires of their consumers.)

In other news, Michelle Obama is revving up her involvement with the campaign to fight childhood obesity through lower sugar and salt content in school lunches. Go Mrs. O!

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