Welcoming the Lucky Iron Fish
What could be in these fun little packages that were recently delivered to the kids at our Believe in Me schools in Cambodia?
They’re a product that is ingenious in its simplicity called “Lucky Iron Fish”!
Nearly all of the kids in our Education programs in Cambodia suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Getting daily iron supplements to the children is expensive and impractical. So our Nutrition program recently purchased the Lucky Iron Fish for our schools as a possible solution to combat the students’ low iron levels.
What is an Iron Fish, you may ask?
Fish are very important to Cambodian culture. Many people earn a living by fishing, and fish are a key component to the Cambodian diet. One kind of fish is considered good luck in Cambodian folklore. Even the currency in Cambodia — the riel — is named for a fish!
A young Canadian entrepreneur living in Cambodia developed a way to add iron to peoples’ diets by creating an ingot of bio-available iron in the shape of a fish that can be placed directly into cooking pots. The iron is then slowly released as the water comes to a boil, adding iron to the food that is eaten or the liquid that is drunk. Cambodians have embraced this method of adding iron to their diet — in part because of the appealing fish shape and its association with bringing good luck!
The women who cook for the kids through our hot lunch programs in Sokhem and Rangsei seem pretty pleased with the ease of using the Lucky Iron Fish as well.
The kids seem delighted to think of the “fish” swimming around in their bowls. Little do they know that these cute fish are delivering nutrients that will help give them more strength and energy!