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Ancient Maya ruins at Tikal in northern Guatemala, near the border with Belize. Researcher Heather McKillop explains that Maya sites like Tikal could have been popular marketplaces to trade salt and other commodities. David DUCOIN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images hide caption

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David DUCOIN/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

In European cooking, salt reigned supreme, and pepper was one of many spices used in heavily seasoned dishes. When they met, they were destined to be. Or, rather, it was destined that they would meet. Theo Crazzolara/Flickr hide caption

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Theo Crazzolara/Flickr

Hervé Zarka uses a tool called a simoussi to rake up salt in his marshland on the island of Noirmoutier in France. He says there are many minerals in natural sea salt, such as magnesium and potassium, that aren't in industrial salt. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Harvesting Salt By Hand Is Making A Comeback In France

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A New York judge has ruled that items like Panera's Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich on Tomato Basil bread, which contains 2,850 milligrams of sodium, require a warning label. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for IMG hide caption

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Jesse Grant/Getty Images for IMG

Judge Rules NYC Can Require Sodium Warnings On Restaurant Menus

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Extra-high amounts of sodium can be hidden in savory snacks like popcorn served at movie theaters and other concession stands. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

That black triangle icon is a sodium warning label next to a dish on the menu at an Applebee's in New York City. Starting Tuesday, the city's Health Department is requiring chain restaurants with 15 or more locations to display the salt shaker icon next to menu items containing 2,300 mg or more of sodium — the recommended daily limit. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

High-Sodium Warnings Hit New York City Menus

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Steaks on the grill at the Mercado del Puerto in Montevideo. So far there are no figures that show if the table salt ban, which was enacted a few years ago, is actually making a difference in Uruguayans' health. Travel Aficionado/Flickr hide caption

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Travel Aficionado/Flickr

Assault On Salt: Uruguay Bans Shakers In Restaurants And Schools

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The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is — perhaps surprisingly — the top contributor of sodium to our diets. iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr hide caption

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iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

Farms outside Baghdad as seen from a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter. Much of Iraq's soil has a high salt content because of flooding and poor drainage. Jim Gordon/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr hide caption

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Jim Gordon/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr

Consuming anywhere from about 2,600 milligrams up to almost 5,000 milligrams of sodium per day is associated with more favorable health outcomes, according to a study. iStockphoto hide caption

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