I was reading this post regarding meat preservation. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061022184303AALaiDt Basically, salt draws out the water from meat which keeps insects away since insect are attracted to water. There's one point that is glossed over: how does salt, which is NaCl draw out or absorb water? What is the chemical reaction that breaks water down? How does salt on the surface extract water in the center of meat?