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Cambodians Are Cooking Iron Fish To Combat Anemia

In Cambodia, where nutrient-rich food can be hard to come by, nearly half of the population suffers from iron deficiency. While this is an easily curable condition, many rural residents lack the access to iron-rich foods.

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Thankfully, one man has found a solution. According to Australian tech publication Techly, Dr. Christopher Charles is changing the way Cambodians incorporate iron into their daily diet by convincing people to actively add iron to their cooking with a device called the Lucky Iron Fish.

Dr. Charles' fish is a fusion of clever design and practicality. Made entirely of iron, it is placed into a boiling pot and “cooked” for 10 minutes. Once the fish is removed, conventional ingredients are added to the pot and the dish is prepared as normal. The end result is iron-rich food which can provide up to 75 percent of a person’s daily requirement.

“After just 9 months of using the Lucky Iron Fish every day, we saw a 50 per cent decrease in the incidence of clinical iron deficiency anaemia, and an increase in users’ iron levels,” Dr. Charles told Techly.

Alongside the health benefits of an iron-rich diet, the project also provides jobs to local residents, who produce the fish as well as its environmentally-friendly packaging.

In addition to educating residents about the benefits of the Lucky Iron Fish, Dr. Charles' idea is gaining ground not only in Cambodia – where the fish is also a symbol of luck – but around the world. He and his team hope to battle iron deficiency, helping the 3.5 billion people across the globe who suffer from this preventable condition.

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