Alviso's Medicinal All-Salt: hand-harvested medicinal cure-all salt


38 Responses to “Alviso's Medicinal All-Salt: hand-harvested medicinal cure-all salt”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m not really sure if this is a prank… :(

  2. bmcraec says:

    It’s not exactly a new notion. Tom Lehrer commented on the San Fancisco sewage problem in his song “Pollution”—

    “If you visit American city, you will think it very pretty,
    Just two things of which you must beware:
    Don’t drink the water, and don’t breath the air!

    Pollution, pollution, we’ve got smog and sewage and mud,
    Turn on your tap and get hot and cold running crud.

    See the halibuts and the sturgeons
    Being wiped out by detergents.
    Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly,
    But they don’t last long if they try.

    Pollution, pollution,
    You can use the latest toothpaste,
    And then rinse your mouth with industrial waste.

    Just go out for a breath of air,
    And you’ll be ready for medicare.
    The city streets are really quite a thrill.
    If the hoods don’t get you, the monoxide will.

    Pollution, pollution,
    Wear a gas mask and a veil.
    Then you can breathe, long as you don’t inhale.

    Lots of things there that you can drink,
    But stay away from the kitchen sink.
    The breakfast garbage that you throw in to the bay,
    They drink at lunch in San Jose.

    So go to the city, see the crazy people there.
    Like lambs to the slaughter,
    They’re drinking the water
    And breathing the air.

    More lyrics:

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please Hammer, don’t let ‘em drink it… unless they believe the hype. In that case, please do kill them off. I see it as culling.

  4. geobarefoot says:

    Let me just say that Alviso is one the best-kept sleepy secrets of San Jose. Go for the hiking/biking, wildlife photography, and old San Jose history; stay for a bite at Maria Elena’s or Vahl’s. For a real adventure, walk the very live train tracks north into the bay for a few miles and visit Drawbridge, a true Bay Area ghost town. BTW, some of the salt ponds out there are a stunning shade of pink right now (not because of toxins, but because of halophilic bacteria). Alviso isn’t going to last forever, so I’d get there before San Jose redevelops the whole damn thing.

  5. Werehawk says:

    Get your snake oil right here ladies and gentlemen…

  6. Anonymous says:

    If anyone has actually driven on the 237 just west of the Milpitas 880 junction and before Central Expwy and gone “God what is that awful smell?!” and pinched their nose shut, that my friends, is Alviso….nuff said.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, no, that smell is San Jose’s sewage treatment plant, foisted on Alviso after a hijacked local referendum in 1968. A famous case of political corruption. Look it up.


    Still sounds better than homeopathy. Ha ha!

    Hummm, if you take a overdose of All-Salt then you get an overdose of a rainbow of random medicines? Sounds fun to me!

    • forgeweld says:

      But it is homeopathy! The medications are present in ephemeral concentrations, just like in homeopathic sugar pills. Brilliant! And no doubt just as effective.

  8. Ambiguity says:

    Oh, and addressing the fact “does most ground water contains these contaminants?”… in 2000 the USGS sampled 139 streams in 30 states and found 80% of them tainted (although they also looked at Personal Care Products and some other commonly used household chemicals, as well as pharmaceuticals). See Kolpin, D; Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams, 1999-2000: A National Reconnaissance.; Environmental Science & Technology. 36:6:1202-1211 for the reference.

    Doesn’t sound like an “Urban Myth” to me.

  9. Charlotte Corday says:

    I suppose that if you feed enough of this to your kids, you won’t need to bother with any of those evil vaccines.

  10. apoxia says:

    This reminds me of something that happened in my office just last week. A PhD student told us the woman at the natural health food store sold her a remedy for the puffy eyes she experiences in the morning. She pulls the remedy out of her bag – little tablets, made of…. sodium chloride! She spend $18.40 on around 50 grams of table salt. Needless to say myself and the other PhD students had a right laugh at her expense. I think she felt a wee bit embarrassed. Oh, and the bottle stated that sodium chloride was “Essential Tissue Fluid no. 9″

  11. Avram / Moderator says:

    It’s an art project designed to draw attention to pharmaceutical bioaccumulation.

    Which isn’t to say they won’t take your money.

  12. Alkwerte says:

    Snake salt.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Something to go with your diabetes piss-whiskey, amirite?

  14. dimmer says:

    “Fentanyl Transdermal System: disposal of patch which comes unstuck — fold sticky sides together and flush down a toilet.”

    Don’t put it in the trash, don’t burn it, don’t put it in your recycling. Fentanyl is an opioid pain reliever, class two drug. Why flush it? Because the overwhelming concentration of water to opioid will render the substance neutral. Any other disposal method is dangerous, potentially lethal. It’s a very, very deep sea.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Not only do you get all those great pharmaceuticals, but around Thanksgiving you get nutmeg and allspice! Yum! Around these parts (Seattle) biologists are trying to figure out what the steady stream of caffeine that passes unchanged through treatment plants is doing to the Puget Sound. Thats right, up here we have Medicine All-Salt w/Caffeine.

  16. tad604 says:

    I’ve thought about this before. The thought of recycled pharms sounds gross, but is it possible to do this for real? That way we keep the stuff out of the environment and don’t waste resources making more of it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I would just like to attest to the healing powers of Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt, it made me the strong virile man I am today. Good stuff, since I used to be a woman.

  18. Alex_M says:

    I don’t feel fearmongering helps the environment.

    Instead of informing people about the (largely fictional) “yet-unregulated pharmaceutical disposal industry” which isn’t to blame for this problem, they _should_ be informing the public about the actual measures they should be taking, namely to never, EVER, throw left over medications down the drain or in the toilet. Take them to your local pharmacy (which in an increasing number of places accept left-over meds for proper disposal), or if you must dispose of them yourself, incinerate them.

    And you should encourage people to get their politicians to pass local laws requiring proper disposal of medications, and to fund research into, and the building of better water-treatment plants.

    The municipal water company in Stockholm, Sweden (a city of 1.6 million) just concluded a 4 year, full-scale study of various methods of removing residual drugs in wastewater treatment, last April. They tested adsorption by active charcoal, ozonation, UV degradation, hydrogen peroxide, additional biofilters, nanofilters, osmosis, etc. They found that they could achieve removal of around 95% of the residues left after the existing treatment, but that it’d lead to a 10-40% cost increase (depending on the size of the treatment plant).

    While we’re taking hints from the Swedes, how about some plants for producing natural gas from sewage and help fix global warming? They’re already building them.

    • Ambiguity says:

      they _should_ be informing the public about the actual measures they should be taking, namely to never, EVER, throw left over medications down the drain or in the toilet.

      I think you’re kind of missing the point. This is an effect of modernity, regardless of “proper disposal,” because a lot of the contamination has nothing to do with improper disposal.

      I live on a big, eastern river, and biologists have been noticing a lot of horrible mutations of the fish in the water. As near as they can figure out they are being caused by pharmaceutical tainting– in this case the hormones in women’s birth control pills. The women aren’t throwing them out; they’re eating them (and then, subsequently, peeing).

      I agree with you that “fear mongering” doesn’t help situations, but neither does proposing simple solutions that ignore the systemic issues that are causing the problems in the first place. If people take birth control pills or anti-depressants, etc., then these things will end up in the water, and with an ever-growing population (and increasing per-capita use), the environment will continue to degrade. And disposing of your drugs correctly isn’t going to make it go away.

      This isn’t meant to be fear mongering, but: in case you haven’t noticed, the world is dying. And unless we face that fact we’re not going to put our efforts in the right direction.

  19. Tim says:

    ah, The FAQ leads me to believe that this site is part of the 01SJ Art festival in SJ this weekend.

  20. Greg323 says:

    Hm. Interesting concept. Now if they can distill usable amounts of the medications out of the salt, then they’re getting somewhere.

    But then the parent companies would sue them for patient infringement…

  21. Wormman says:

    And to think I had to control myself the other day when someone was extolling the virtues of “Celtic Sea Salt”. One person’s cynical hoax is another’s whole food.

  22. narrowstreetsLA says:

    This is a really cynical hoax.

    …right? :-\

    • Eicos says:

      It’s a commentary on our blithe ignorance of one particular negative ecological consequence of modernity, namely that almost all surface water now contains measurable quantities of prescription pharmaceuticals.

      • Rider says:

        Got to love how our so called educated society keeps finding new urban legends and repeating them ad nauseam.

        • Ambiguity says:

          Got to love how our so called educated society keeps finding new urban legends and repeating them ad nauseam.

          Oh yea? Well tell that to the freaking Reply

  • TNGMug says:

    Actually I was involved in a paper on this a few years back.

    The thing is here that you have to distinguish between an active concentration on a habitat, like fish swimming around in polluted water, and an active oral dose in people.

    They’re massively different. Maybe pharmaceuticals impact on fish, maybe not, the jury is still out on that. If they do they act on the endocrine system, but my professional opinion is they aren’t the biggest contributing factor to that effect. If there are pharmecueticals in the water they’ll be the really common ones. Over the counter painkillers and, of course, birth control.

    It’s also worth mentioning that the drug that has the highest measurable quantities in municipal wastewater, by several orders of magnitude, is caffeine. Actually it’s worth mentioning that caffeine in a water system can very accurately be used as a surrogate variable for estimating a human population size – we use it that reliably. At any rate to put it in prospective, you’d have to drink several hundred gallons of processed wastewater discharge in a day to equal one cup of coffee.

  • taco_rossco says:

    Finally, I can now salt my food and medicate myself at the same time.

  • billstewart says:

    They scarcely even talk about all the chemical waste from the semi-conductor and printed circuit board industry that gets into the water there, but you can find out more about those at the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition website.

  • Anonymous says:

    Tools. Fools.

    The water for the salt extraction comes from the section
    of the bay around Redwood City, where the freshwater effluent of
    the sewage treatment plant is vastly and effectively diluted.
    it takes literally years for the water to move through the system
    down to the most concentrated ponds. I suspect that few pharm
    products can survive the toxic concentrations of potassium salts
    that co-occur with the harvestable sea salt.

    It’s homeopathy, until someone coughs up an assay.

  • Anonymous says:

    I read an article the other day about how lots of fish in America’s rivers are turning hermaphrodite, from all the runoff of hormone replacement and birth control pills for women, as well as whatever else the water treatment plants don’t filter out. I find this to be a major oversight on the part of Waste Management and the EPA.

  • blueelm says:


    I mean.

    It’s a joke. Right guys?

  • Anonymous says:

    So should I stop taking my medications, or stop peeing?

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