Staff Profile: The Serial Salter

“I would salt my gum if I could.” - Maria Parker Hopkins: Age: 41, copy chief, Cooking Light, Birmingham, Ala.

Cooking Light Staffer: Maria Parker Hopkins

Maria Parker Hopkins: The Serial Salter

Randy Mayor


Yes, we discovered a Cooking Light staffer with a confessed salt addiction. “I have issues,” she says laughing. “I salt everything before I taste it.” She also pays no attention to the labels on the products she buys. Her go-to grocery list reads like a sodium fiesta: jarred pasta sauces, feta cheese, and condiments galore (she can’t get enough bread-and-butter pickles, banana peppers, or Dijon mustard). And really, Maria is wondering why she needs to worry about her salt addiction in the first place. Unlike her five siblings, she doesn’t have high blood pressure.


African-Americans are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure than non-Hispanic whites. Maria’s siblings’ history of high blood pressure may unfortunately be a harbinger of things to come. Her taste buds have probably become desensitized to salt, so her goal this month is to ease up on the saltshaker and explore other flavors. After a month (about the time it takes to retrain taste buds and allow the palate to adjust), she shouldn’t even notice anything missing.

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