There are over 2 billion people in the world that suffer from chronic anemia. In countries like Cambodia, it's estimated that it affects over half of the population. Anemia is a decrease in red blood cells able to carry oxygen through the body and it causes fatigue, discomfort and shortness of breath. One of the top causes of anemia is an iron deficiency which is an easy issue to fix, but the iron supplements available to customers in North America are far too expensive for families in developing countries. Looking for a fix to the anemia epidemic, Dr. Christopher Charles, a Canadian scientist, has developed a clever little item that he thinks will make a big change in the world.
It's called the Lucky Iron Fish.
It's a pocket-sized fish that can provide up to 75% of an adult's daily iron intake.
Not only is it incredibly portable but it's very easy to use. Just boiling it for 10 minutes pulls the iron into the water. Add a little lemon juice for maximizing iron absorbency, and you've got your daily iron.
What's even better: the fish can be rinsed and reused again and again.
Although it's shaped like a fish, it doesn't have any flavor, so it can be added to any kind of food or water.
2,500 Cambodian villagers tried the Lucky Iron Fish and after just one year, half of them reported no signs of anemia.
This is especially good news for children and pregnant mothers, as iron is crucial for a growing body.
The Lucky Iron Fish is being circulated more widely around Cambodia and programs are looking at how to get the fish's distribution improved worldwide.
This little fish is lucky, indeed.