April 24, 1972


Author Affiliations

Nutrition Division University of Alabama Medical Center Birmingham

JAMA. 1972;220(4):581-582. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200040093021

There has been a tendency to ignore the contribution made by what might be called "environmental contamination" with iron. Nevertheless it is here that the most astonishing changes have occurred during the last century. There has been a significant decline in the use of iron cookware in the home.8 Moore has demonstrated that food cooked in an iron skillet contains significantly more iron than the same food cooked in glass.9 A single 100-gm serving of spaghetti sauce, for example, contained 87.5 mg of iron when prepared in an iron skillet, and only 3.0 mg when cooked in a glass vessel. The cast-iron pots formerly used for cooking and for making blackstrap molasses in the rural southland are now sold in antique stores as collector's items. The so-called "blackiron" that was once used in the bulk processing and storage of food by industry has been replaced by aluminum, stainless