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May 13, 2013

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 Turner (32 photos total)

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. (Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg)

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. (Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images) #

A visitor walks past the Chamber of the Mirrors in the Nemocon salt mine on September 26, 2012. The mine is one of Colombia's most popular tourist attractions. (Jose Miguel Gomez/Reuters) #

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. (Jeffrey Arguedas/EPA) #

The salt field at Palibelo village on the outskirts of Bima, Indonesia lies tranquil on November 22, 2012. (Beawiharta/Reuters) #

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. (Omer Saleem/EPA) #

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. (Hrvoje Polan/AFP/GettyImages) #

Smoke rises from the chimney of the sugar factory in Plattling, Germany on October 9, 2012. (Armin Weigel/AFP/GettyImages) #

An Afghan worker prepares traditional sweets at a factory on the outskirts of Jalalabad on November 25, 2012. (Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images) #

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. (Michele Sibiloni/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man works on salt beds in Pangasinan province, Philippines on May 6, 2013. Salt-making is a major source of livelihood for the province's coastal towns. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press) #

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. (Sunday Alamba/Associated Press) #

A worker tests the quality of ethanol samples at a processing facility near Sertaozinho, Brazil on August 24, 2012. Some 48.5 percent of all the cane processed will be directed to sugar at the expense of ethanol. (Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg) #

A Cambodian man carries palm juice for making sugar during harvesting season in Tuol, Cambodia on December 13, 2012. (Heng Sinith/Associated Press) #

Local farmers cut sugar cane at Chea Khlang commune's field in Prey Veng, Cambodia on September 1, 2012. (Heng Sinith/Associated Press) #

A worker pushes a wagon full of salt at the Ston Saltworks in Ston, Croatia on July 31, 2012. The Ston Saltworks are the oldest and best preserved salt works from Mediterranean history, with technique dating from the time of the Republic of Dubrovnik. (Antonio Bronic/Reuters) #

Guillermo Castillo, 60, works on a valve that regulates the passage of sugar cane juice at a processing plant in Jaronu, Cuba on September 8, 2012. (Franklin Reyes/Associated Press) #

Workers collect salt in a pool at the salt mine in Salinas, Dominican Republic on July 28, 2012. The Salinas mines have been a source of salt since the time of the conquest. Workers earn about $150 for a month's work. (Ricardo Rojas/Reuters) #

A worker walks in a salt field in Palibelo village, Indonesia on November 22, 2012. (Beawiharta/Reuters) #

Men work at a sugar cane plantation in Siribala, Mali on January 24, 2013. (Joe Penney/Reuters) #

A farmer from the Nueva Jerusalen sect rides his donkey through a sugar cane field in Nueva Jerusalen, Mexico on September 26, 2012. (Alan Ortega/Reuters) #

A woman harvests sugarcane at the Montelimar sugar mill on the outskirts of Managua on December 31, 2012. Nicaragua plans to produce some 1.5 million short tons of sugar. (Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) #

A man makes brown sugar at his house on the outskirts of Peshawar on November 6, 2012. (Fayaz Aziz/Reuters) #

Blocks of panela, solid chunks of unrefined whole cane sugar obtained from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice, sit in a barrel at a sugar mill in Tepetitan, El Salvador on February 26, 2012. (Juan Carlos/Bloomberg) #

Pools of salt form patterns at the Maras mines in Cuzco, Peru on August 29, 2012. (Janine Costa/Reuters) #

A worker carries a bag of salt through pools of salt at the Maras mines in Cuzco, Peru on August 29, 2012. The Maras mines have been a source of salt since ancient pre-Incan civilizations and now comprise about 3,000 small pools constructed on the slope of a mountain in the Urubamba valley in the Andean region of Cuzco. (Janine Costa/Reuters) #

Roads intersect at a Rio Tinto Group salt operation in Dampier, Australia on August 20, 2012. (Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg) #

Farmers harvest sugarcane in a field in Yomitan Village, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on February 24, 2012. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg) #

A worker drinks water from a kettle as he harvests sugar cane in Sidoarjo, Indonesia on September 19, 2012. (Sigit Pamungkas/Reuters) #

Mine operational manager Arnaud Tamborini takes a sample of salt for analysis on the trolley in the salt mine in Bex, Switzerland on December 4, 2012. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

A man uses wooden rafts to transport pieces of salt rock after extracting them from the bed of Lake Katwe in Uganda on January 29, 2013. The rock is extracted three times a week, usually by men who work from dusk to dawn, paid two dollars for every 220 pounds of salt rock sold. (James Akena/Reuters) #

A man smiles as he extracts salt rock from the bed of Lake Katwe in Uganda on January 29, 2013. (James Akena/Reuters) #


 
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