The correlation conundrum
Everybody loves payday. Whether it is the first, last or middle day of the month, simply knowing that the reward for one’s labor has been deposited in a bank account creates a feeling of security.
The word “salary” itself derives from the Latin salarium, whose root is sal, or “salt.” In ancient Rome, salarium specifically meant the amount of money allotted to a Roman soldier to purchase salt. Hence the familiar term, “worth his salt.”
For a Roman infantryman, the receipt of such a scarce, valuable and useful commodity would have provided the same warm feeling we now experience on payday.
Following an era in which protein-rich food was difficult to come by, the advent of domestication, farming and preservation allowed for more varied diets and significantly more efficient food chains.
Salt preservation, in particular, was critical to the maintenance and storage of meat. Those with access to salt not only ate better, but also enjoyed longer and healthier lives. Which is why, in ancient Rome, salt was literally worth its weight in gold.
Fast forward to the present.
Salt remains a key staple due to tastes that have evolved in line with the practice of salt preservation. But packing a joint of meat in anything other than a refrigerator would now be considered, at best, quaint.
Technology, tastes and times have simply moved on.