A shocking discovery during my Byron Bay trip

As you all may have already know, I went to Byron Bay recently for a short holiday to recover my body from the busy period of moving houses. We stayed at this nice serviced apartment that had a kitchen. But, I discovered something quite shocking about a seasoning that was in the apartment’s kitchen.

So today I would like to use this blog to share my recent discovery, which I felt was quite a shock to me.

If you have looked at my Instagram before, you would have seen that I shared a post my ‘Japanese and health loving trip essentials’ , which are basically my health necessities for this trip (and any trips really!).

For those who have never read my Instagram post, you can click HERE to see what I have brought with me to Byron Bay.

Image 1: My Japanese and health trip essentials


Even though I have brought my own sea salt on this trip, I have used all of it by the last day. However, as I still wanted to make rice sandwich for the bush walk I decided to use the salt that was provided by the accommodation to make my sandwich.

And YES! You read it correctly, RICE SANDWICH! I didn’t make regular sandwich for myself on this trip, as I didn’t feel like it and as I’m getting older, I’m craving more and more of the Japanese foods.

Anyway, going on with the story – when I took out the salt out of the cabinet and opened the bottle and sniffed it, the salt smelt like chemicals. I have no idea how salt can smell like chemicals, I thought that someone had probably poured the laundry powder with bleach into the salt bottle as the salt was stored near where the washing machine was.

But, it is very weird right? After sniffing the bottle a number of times, I still could not figure out if what was inside that bottle was salt or not. And, the only way to find out was to TASTE it! And at that moment I was very scared as I could potentially be putting laundry powder into my mouth. But as I was desperate for my rice sandwich, I took the risk.

It turns out that it was SALT, as it was salty even though it smells like bleach!

Image 2: My rice sandwich


I knew that table salt was bad but I was still shocked to find that salt bottle smelling like chemicals. This made me very curious to see what was in this salt. So, I checked the ingredients label and was surprised to see that the label was MISLEADING!

The first misleading factor comes from the use of the term ‘stone mill’ on the front of the salt package (see image 3). To me, ‘stone mill’ is used for products that are healthier, more natural and higher in quality. For example, stone milled flour contains more fiber and nutrients. Hence, the artisan baker loves to use stone milled flour due to its higher quality. Another example is high quality matcha that is claimed as produced with stone mill. I would recommend this to everybody as matcha is really heat sensitive, so grinding matcha in a machine is not ideal. However, the use of this term on the salt bottle (even though it is just a brand name) just sounds misleading to me.

Another misleading element comes from the ingredients (see image 4). In the ingredients label at the back of the bottle, it was stated that sea salt was the core ingredient of the product. However, most salt (including table salt) comes from the sea anyway. The important thing to consider is how these salts are being PROCESSED!


I have been telling my clients to avoid table salt as our body contains salt water, so having HIGH QUALITY salt intake is very important for our body. Using high quality salt in our meal and daily food consumption can make a huge difference to our body. For example, I know many people who have sleeping impediments. And to solve their sleeping complications, I recommended many people to switch from consuming table salt to high quality sea salt. And, I was very glad that I gave this recommendation as switching to consuming quality sea salt had helped to improved their sleep!

Image 3: Misleading use of the term ‘stone mill’ on front package

Image 4: Ingredients label at the back of the salt package 


I have worked as a chef in Sydney for over a decade, but I have found only one place that has used high quality sea salt – which was TETSUYAS, a very high-end restaurant. Good chefs will know that salt is one of the most important seasoning that will bring up the flavours from the ingredients of a dish. Hence, using HIGH QUALITY SALT with pure flavours is the best.

However, it is very unfortunate that most chefs do not care about their customers’ (i.e. your) health.

I have also worked for a healthy catering company, which provides detox meal plans. And sadly, they still use table salt! Yes, we see lots of pink salt in cafes these days, but for cooking, they still use table salt!

No wonder why people are getting unhealthy and are very prone to sickness, simply because we are eating too much chemicals!


The best alternative is to COOK AT HOME WITH QUALITY SALT! So, if you’re using table salt right now, please switch to using HIGH QUALITY SALT such as Celtic salt, Himalayan pink salt or anything but table salt!

Lacking iodine? Yes, Australia and New Zealand are the two countries that has a very poor iodine levels in their soil. But, seaweed are amazing source of iodine. Plus, seaweed has many other health benefits great for our body too.




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Happy Japanese superfoods cooking xx

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