Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the number one micronutrient deficiency, affecting close to 2 billion people worldwide. It is the only micronutrient deficiency that affects people in both the developed and developing world, and it predominantly affects women and children, especially those living in poverty. Approximately 45% of women in India have IDA; it has been identified as the most important health challenge facing the country. Current attempts to alleviate IDA are not sustainable: iron pills are expensive, often culturally unacceptable and not consistently available.
The solution to a complex problem like iron deficiency can be as simple as putting a Lucky Iron Fish in every pot. The Lucky Iron Fish offers a simple solution. Based on an ancient Chinese observation that cooking with cast iron results in iron being leached into the food, the fish releases a consistent amount of bioavailable iron during cooking. When the product was originally being developed in Cambodia, the iron ingot was shaped like a fish thought to be lucky in Cambodian culture, but the company has since developed a Lucky Iron Leaf for use by vegetarians. Moreover, for every fish ingot purchased in a developed country, Lucky Iron Fish donates another to a community in the developing world.
Lucky Iron Fish has partnered with several organizations and institutions, including:
- Harvard University
- Penn State
- St. Michael’s Hospital, Sahara Centre
- Gates Foundation
- Grand Challenges Canada