Sugar and salt

Although modern techniques often bring sugar and salt to our tables, these two simple treats for the palate are still harvested and processed in traditional, if not ancient methods the world over. Over 160 million tons of sugar is produced annually in well over 100 countries, most of it processed from cane in tropical countries. The world uses 240 million tons of salt every year in everything from food to industrial applications. Gathered here are images of the toils that result in two of our favorite flavors. -- Lane Turne 1. A cut stem of sugar cane stands in a field in Saraburi province, Thailand on May 9, 2012. Thailand is the world's second-biggest exporter. 2. Indian salt pan worker Bhartiben Rameshbhai breaks up the mineral from a flooded salt pan near Odu village in the Little Rann of Kutch region in India on May 1, 2013. Recent unseasonal rains in the region have washed away tons of precious salt there, ruining the livelihoods of hundreds. 3.Antonio Noguera boils the water extracted from mangrove swamps at a pool to process kitchen salt in a salt mine in Colorado de Abangares, Guanacaste, Costa Rica on April 11, 2013. People work in temperatures between 35 and 40 Celsius for 122 dollars a month. 4. The salt field at Palibelo village on the outskirts of Bima, Indonesia lies tranquil on November 22, 2012 5. A man prays in a Mosque made up of salt rock at the world's second largest salt mine in Khewra, Pakistan on April 20, 2013. The mine is Pakistan's oldest salt mine and a major tourist attraction, drawing up to 250,000 visitors a year. Its history dates to 320 BC following its discovery by Alexander's troops, but trading began in the Mughal era. The main tunnel was developed during British rule in 1872. The mine produces more than 350,000 tons a year. 6. A worker shows flower of salt, also known as the caviar of salt, in the saltworks near Nin, Croatia on August 24, 2012. It appears at the sea surface as a thin layer of salt flakes, like flower petals, which are collected manually with micron sieves. Price for this kind of salt reaches 50 euros per kilogram. 7. Smoke rises from the chimney of the sugar factory in Plattling, Germany on October 9, 2012. 8. An Afghan worker prepares traditional sweets at a factory on the outskirts of Jalalabad on November 25, 2012. 9. A worker burns sugar cane waste, part of the process in making biochar, at the Eco Fuel Africa factory in Lugazi, Uganda on January 29, 2013. The process produces a powder which can be used as an organic fertilizer or compressed for use as a bio fuel which burns longer than charcoal 10. A woman throws out soil after collecting salt from it in Djegbadji, Benin on January 11, 2013. Artisanal salt farmers here dig off the top layer of soil near their homes then filter water through the dirt to draw out salt. They later boil the water to collect the salt.

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