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.

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