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But salt is also an essential element. Without it, life itself would be impossible since the human body requires the mineral in order to function properly. The concentration of sodium ions in the blood is directly related to the regulation of safe body fluid levels. And while we are all familiar with its many uses in cooking, we may not be aware that this element is used in some 14,000 commercial applications. From manufacturing pulp and paper to setting dyes in textiles and fabric, from producing soaps and detergents to making our roads safe in winter, salt pays an essential part in our daily lives.
As a precious and portable commodity, salt has long been a cornerstone of economies throughout history. In fact, researcher M.R. Bloch conjectured that civilization began along the edges of the desert because of the natural surface deposits of salt found there. Bloch also believed that the first war – likely fought near the ancient city of Essalt on the Jordan River – could have been fought over the city’s precious supplies of the mineral.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Salt is such an (1) …………………….. that people would not be able to live without it. As well as its uses in cooking, this basic mineral has thousands of business (2) …………………….. ranging from making paper to the manufacture of soap. Being a prized and (3) …………………….. , it has played a major part in the economies of many countries. As such, salt has not only led to war, but has also been used to raise taxes by governments in many parts of the world.
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