This ‘Lucky Iron Fish’ is halving instances of anaemia in Cambodia

Anaemia is the most common and widespread nutritional disorders in the world, affecting 2 billion people globally – or over 30 percent of the world’s population. But Canadian scientists have come up with an ingenius solution, and it’s so simple, it fits in the palm of your hand. Meet the Lucky Iron Fish – a chunk of iron that’s thrown into the saucepan and boiled with lemon to give adults 75 percent of their daily recommended iron intake, and close to 100 percent for kids.

The idea came to University of Guelph public health researcher, Christopher Charles, during a trip to Cambodia six years ago, when he realised how widespread anaemia was. He saw the disorder was stunting the children’s development and leaving the women so tired they were unable to work. Iron tablets weren’t working, as they were hard to distribute and left locals with unpleasant side effects, writes Philippa Roxby for BBC Health. With previous research showing that cooking in an iron pan increased the iron content of food, Charles decided to make lumps of iron that the locals could boil to increase their iron intake.

Shaped like little smiling fish – a symbol of luck in Cambodian culture – these inexpensive iron lumps are about 7.5 centimetres long and weigh 200 grams. What makes them special is that when they’re heated up in a pan, they release iron at exactly the right concentration to provide the majority of the local’s recommended daily iron intake. The recipe is simple: boil the fish in water or soup for 10 minutes, remove from the heat, and add a generous dash of lemon juice to foster iron absorption.  Source: This ‘Lucky Iron Fish’ is halving instances of anaemia in Cambodia

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