Iron-ware, City market & Health connection….

Interestingly, while on my last City market visit came across a typical hardware store which has all iron utensils, a quick question came to my mind “in this era of modern cookware, why would anyone still cook the food in Iron cookware?”


It did not took me quite a while to search it online and found out the great facts about the healthy options the Iron-ware has to offer specifically in India where few states have higher anemic rates far reaching devastating effects… and our health minister endorsing the fact combating the same stating..

“The National Family Health Survey found that the percentage of women and children in India who were anemic had increased to 56 percent and 79 percent respectively since the late 1990s.”


Iron deficiency, the most common nutritional disorder in the world, is a major problem in many developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently estimates that a mind-boggling 4 to 5 billion people may suffer from some form of iron deficiency–that’s 66 to 88% of the world’s population. Up to 2 billion of these people also suffer from anemia, a condition often due to insufficient iron in which blood has too few red blood cells. The scientists proposed that the regionally specific use of iron pots might be responsible for the lower prevalence of iron deficiency. Refer for more…


I was surprised as I relate to the small oil tadka’s given to curries / sambar via Iron pots, roti’s prepared on Iron tava , Iron stirs used while cooking the food etc. which actually helps balance the Iron supplements to the body since ages it has been used in indian kitchens. I am sure most of the readers will relate to this observation from the past…

Perhaps this old market still keeps few keys to the universal health issues dealt via simple home remedies repeating old traditions the traditional ways!!

7 Comments so far

  1. Deepa Mohan (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

    Such an informative post, and excellent pictures, too. The old ways are often the good ways…but of course, one must constantly examine if it is indeed so, and upgrade if a better way is found…for example, lead vessels are NOT good for cooking though my…er…foremothers swore that the rasam made in lead vessels was the best.

    And as a housewife, I can tell you…a heavy iron taavaa is SO much easier to maintain that a delicate-to-handle-or-the-teflon-will-go non-stick pan! And once the tava is heated up, the heat stays in the metal for a long time and saves cooking fuel.

  2. Charles Haynes (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

    I do most of my cooking on either a cast-iron pan or a spun steel wok. They require slightly more care, but even today they make great cooking utensils. Sturdy, practical, and great results.

    My other pans are high-tech stainless steel explosively bonded to aluminum cores (All-Clad brand) and I love them too, but I doubt that I’ll ever give up cooking in iron and steel.

  3. silkboard (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

    Nice post Rajesh! Wasn’t aware of most things you mentioned here.

  4. Raghu (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

    Vey good post Rajesh ! I am loving the City Market coverage on MetBlogs :) The city’s heart isn’t in Malls..

  5. Briju Prasad (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 9:51 pm

    Nice post again,good eye (I should say) for the finer things in life…..please keep up the good work,I enjoy reading the posts.

    Now two things…

    Just a thought about Iron defeciency anaemia in South Asian countries especially in India is mainly due to menorraghia(excessive bleeding) and attitudes to menstruation. The references part of the link that you quote regarding iron pots unfortunately does not open as it seemed interesting to know the outcome of the studies…….sometimes these studies have limitations.

    I agree the pots may have some effect on the prevalance of IDA but I would worry more about the other risk factors.

    Second one…
    There is an incredible piece of equipment known as the Tunelling Electron microscope.This is so powerful that by firing electrons,you can actually see images of the ATOM,

    If I were using that microscope right now I still wouldn’t be able to locate my interest in Deve Gowda’a Birthday.

    Sorry to see your post being hijacked by comments not really related here.

  6. Rajesh (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

    Thanks Folks…

    Birju Prasad, Thanks. I checked the links once again and they are opening correctly to me. I agree there could be many factord when it comes to such health issues causes and remedies will differ from locations, age, circumstances. The ‘Iron’ factor also may not be the only and sole remedy but i hope will have some impact overall. Specially as Deepa pointed out use of teflon coated frypans instead of tava etc use of ironware has significantly reduced since last two-three decades. That’s the only point I focused on here.

    thanks again…

  7. Sid (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

    Great post about a necessary subject!

    My father was a (Western) chef. The first lessons in life he taught me were about iron cookware.

    1) Iron is the best surface for cooking because it spreads the heat more evenly than any other metal. No self-respecting professional chef would ever cook on stainless because it doesn’t spread heat well.

    2) When you get a new iron cooking vessel the first thing to do is ‘prime’ it. Priming is simple, it involves getting the iron used to cooking oil. There are detailed instructions on the net. If you prime your iron cookware correctly, for its entire life your iron pot/skillet will be just as stick-resistant as teflon — and will not have a chemical taste like teflon.

    3) NEVER USE SOAP OR DETERGENT on iron cookware. Use steel pads. If you want to get rid of oil on the surface, use scouring powder AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.

    4) A properly cared-for iron cookware will last a lifetime [which may be a little longer in India than elsewhere, but I don’t want to be drawn into a discussion of religion ;-)]

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.