The Blue Zones Solution
My relation with Dan Buettner, the author of this -well, I would say extra ordinary and extremely visionary book- is quite interesting. We both cycled the same time from Chile to Alaska, I met his brother and two other in this team of four, but Dan wasn´t there at that precise moment. Next time I heard from him I was preparing my Siberian journey 2004 and I knew Dan had been with the first to cycle through what was than the Soviet Union, so he sent me his book from his epic journey. Years passed until my wife to be brought me to Minnesota and Minneapolis and once there I contacted Dan, who at this time had become a celebrity, writing for National Geographic, dating a super model and had decided to put all his enormous effort into educating the American audience about how to keep healthy. So, when I this summer decided enough was enough as regards to meat, sugar, fatty junk food, I thought of Dan and wondered how his quite unique ideas had developed. He sent me his latest book, the Blue Zones Solution.
First of all, Dan is really an excellent story teller and writer. This isn´t the easiest subject at times to explain, but he does with ease. And there´s no doubt if you follow the rules how he explains the route to a better living, it will work. It is an excellent researched book and it was hard to put down. Read it!
One paragraph that stuck immediately in my mind was a doctor friend of his, Thomas Kottke, saying to Dan when he told him about creating a blue zone area just south of Minneapolis as a pilot project:
“There´s good news and bad news about what you are proposing. the bad news is that you don´t belong to the scientific establishment and you don´t really know what you are doing. But the good news is that this very fact may be the reason that your project succeeds.”
Of course he succeeded! And to take on what he did, trying to change the eating habits for a whole community, instead of doing the individual thing, and involving restaurants and other business, in his pilot area of Albert Lee, is just extra ordinary and could just be done by a true explorer with the vision which goes with this! This issue explorers versus academics is ongoing and still not solved.
Finally meeting Dan Buettner after being in contact for 23 years in his spectacular mansion in Minneapolis. From left: Me (yes, adding on Expedition weight), Dan Jr, Dan and his brother Steve.
This book is in every way important and unique. He has thoroughly investigated so called blue zones all over the world which differs from the rest when it comes to aging and the reasons why. He has applied this wisdom on the most compícated and fat country on earth and is doing way better than anyone imagined possible. And he has used his curiosity and drive from being an explorer, to slog through all obstacles and it is a very positive book.
It should be part of educational reading in schools all over the world.
*Read more about the Blue Zones here!