The ‘Lucky Iron Fish’ boosts health in Cambodia.

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Solving iron deficiency
By Michelle Robertson
A metal ingot that can release 75% of the recommended daily amount of the iron is literally cooking up a storm in Cambodia. Despite often being mistaken for a doorstop or paperweight, the Lucky Iron Fish (LIF) is probably the easiest way to ensure that everyone gets the sufficient amount of iron in their diet – and all you have to do is drop the LIF into the pot while cooking. This incredibly simple invention releases controlled quantities of the mineral into whatever’s on the boil. It has already been effective in helping over 90,000 people in Cambodia fight against iron deficiency – an issue that affects about half the world’s population.

Ingesting iron through adding metal objects to the pot is not a new idea, as people have been doing it for thousands of years. However, the difference with the LIF is that it’s been made into a safe process because it releases the proper amount of iron. The man behind this project is Christopher Charles who was spurred to action after observing the health problems caused by low iron levels in Cambodia.

 His original ingots were scientifically effective, but the people were not using them. He then changed the design to resemble a special fish that is a symbol of good luck for health and happiness in Cambodian folklore. This was the hook needed to catch the villagers’ attention, and it has led to a significant boost in blood iron levels, and the virtual elimination anaemia. In addition, Gavin says that for every LIF purchased in the West, one will also be donated to someone in a developing country.


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