The Lucky Iron Fish: A Simple Solution to a Serious Problem
The Problem: In Cambodia, much of the population lives on a diet of fish and rice and so suffers from iron deficiency, leading to anemia and other serious health conditions. The simple solution is to cook a small piece of iron in the same pot with a meal for 10 minutes, providing 75% of the iron a family needs. The dilemma was that people were happy to use the iron slab as a doorstop but wouldn’t toss it into the cooking pot.
The Solution: Fashion the small piece of iron into the shape of a fish, a cultural symbol of hope and good fortune in Cambodia.
Initial Results: After nine months of trials and tests, a 55% drop in iron deficiency was recorded. Additionally, the project is sustainable, featuring recyclable materials and adding jobs in the local community to package the iron fish.
The Design: The Lucky Iron Fish was designed by Canadian science graduate Dr. Christopher Charles, who travelled to Cambodia in 2008 on a research project.
The design was recently awarded the prestigious Product Design Grand Prix at Cannes, the pre-eminent global festival for ‘creative communications’ (there was a controversy as the PR company Geometry Global was given the award instead of the original designer, Christopher Charles).
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