Tim Cebula

Blue Zones Project Communities’ Overall Greater Well-Being Leads to Stronger Economies

By September 27, 2023

While Blue Zones Projects are associated with improved health outcomes and quality of life for residents of participating communities, the partnerships can also boost the local economies. One of the clearest economic impacts of a Blue Zones transformation is how much money its project communities save on health care over time. When a region’s collective health increases, health care costs decrease, sometimes dramatically. The impact of healthier workplaces Most Americans spend about half their waking life on the job, making workplaces a prime opportunity to encourage healthy lifestyles. The Blue Zone Project approach to transforming worksites is to offer…

What are Food Hubs and How Can They Help Address Gaps in Healthy Food Access

By August 7, 2023

[Editor’s Note: In our Blue Zones Project and Blue Zones Activate communities, the goal of our Food Environment work is to implement long-term, evidence-backed policies and interventions that optimize environments, increasing access to healthy foods for all. We do this by prioritizing education on how to grow and cook healthy foods, inspiring residents to create healthy food buying habits, making healthy grocery stores or convenience market access easy for everyone, and growing the local food supply. Blue Zones Project and Blue Zones Activate teams approach their food environment goals with their residents and industries in mind, making each Blue Zones…

Blue Zones Project Brevard Awarded a $12,000 Grant to Enhance Community Gardens

By September 22, 2022

The Blue Zones Project community of Brevard, N.C., recently won a $12,000 grant to enhance its community garden. The grant, awarded by AARP North Carolina, was one of four winning projects in the state, according to the AARP. Funds will be used to build ten accessible raised-bed garden plots to an existing community garden in Brevard’s historically black community. The raised beds are designed to be easier to use for people over 50 and young children. [Watch the AARP 2022 Community Challenge Winner Video] The planned improvements also include new benches for the garden and a nearby skatepark, which…

Okinawan Cuisine: How Sweet Potatoes Came to Be a Staple Food for Centenarians

By August 9, 2022

The Japanese sweet potato, also called imo, is a cornerstone of the traditional Okinawan diet, a cuisine synonymous with good health and longevity. Yet this blue zones star ingredient became the starch of choice in this island chain not because it’s nutrient-dense or rich in antioxidants, but mostly by necessity. Okinawa’s subtropical islands are regularly battered by powerful seasonal storms. Rice, a Japanese cuisine staple, simply did not grow well on the island. By the 1600s, islanders turned instead to growing sweet potatoes, which they imported from China. Other practical concerns of island life in Okinawa helped strengthen the…