Blue Zone Dining: Food for a long(er) life
This month, team SKORDO is talking about the functions of food. Preparing, sharing, and enjoying a meal can be an expression of love. Or eating can make us break out in hives. It’s fuel. It’s tasty. It has the power to invigorate and the strength to humble. More recently food and cooking have inspired countless docu-series discussions and motivated more than one of our vacation itineraries. Clearly, our team is obsessed with food, but we’re waking up to the fact that we rarely look to our plates for a longer life.
Food as medicine is not a new concept. Neither is our shared interest in longevity. What is (relatively) new? The recognition of Blue Zones. In 2005 Dan Buettner’s cover article “Secrets of a Long Life” was the cover story of the November 2005 issue of National Geographic. Buettner’s article told the story of three communities with abnormally high rates of long life: Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California. In the following years, Buettner discovered two more hot spots: Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica and Ikaria in the Greek Isles. What do they have in common? Clean eating, regular movement, purposeful lives, and friendships.
Buettner found that along with strong social bonds and active lifestyles, Blue Zones share five core ingredients: Whole Grains, Leafy Greens, Tuberous, Nuts and Beans. We’re here to help with a few SKORDO recipes that celebrate those ingredients.
Black Lentil Salad with Garden Fresh Veggies
Pair cooked black lentils and chickpeas with your favorite diced vegetables. We went for red cabbage, cucumber, raw corn and red pepper. Toss with a simple vinaigrette. We're fans of this plum dressing from The Vegetarian Silver Spoon: Classic & Contemporary Italian Recipes.
- 2 tablespoon tamari
- 1 ripe and pitted plum
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients and blend. We added 1 tablespoon of a rich olive oil for extra yum!
There are plenty of Blue Zone skeptics, but we like to believe good food and long walks with friends are key to a long, full life.
Dan Buettner has gone on to launch Blue Zone Project in partnership with Healthways to scale Blue Zone health practices in cities throughout the United States.Resources:
5 "Blue Zones" Where the World's Healthiest People Live
Eating to Break 100