Salt, in former times, was often in short supply. While today people are cautioned to limit their salt intake, this is only because so many processed foods are heavily fortified with salt. People like the taste of salt, and this was even more true in Medieval times where there were fewer condiments available to spice up a generally drab diet. Salt was produced by mining, an unpleasant task, or by evaporating sea water, an even more unpleasant task. The salt then had to be shipped to wherever people lived. In Medieval France, most of the salt came from evaporation in the flats at the mouth of the Loire river. Salt was one consumer item everyone had to have. In addition to putting it on food, it was the principal means of preserving meat (particularly bacon, pork, fish, and sausage) and vegetables for Winter consumption.