I just came across this summary of a research paper that showed that, not only does cooking in cast iron add iron to the food, but newer cast iron pans add more iron to food than old cast iron pans. Presumably, the thinner seasoning layer on the new pieces allows more iron to pass into the food. http://whatscookingamerica.net/Information/IronCastIron.htm
I wonder why the seasoning doesn't completely block the iron from leaching out? I thought it was supposed to be an airtight, watertight seal.
Maybe that's why my pan smells metallic every now and then, even though there are no bare spots?
And if so, maybe I can continue to use it as is without having to strip it down after all?
P.S. Fried an egg today in the pan. Got enough sticking so that I had to boil water to clean it out, and there was that slight metallic smell again.
I may be nearing the end of my rope with this.