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A wonderful Times story about the residents of the small, self-sufficient Greek island of Ikaria explores the simple magic of getting together for good food and drink, and how the pleasures of the table may have something to do with the residents’ long lives, good health, and sharp minds.
Dan Buettner has been studying longevity within this community and other “Blue Zones” around the world (Okinawa, Sardinia, Nicoya) since 2004. Though he admits it’s still largely a mystery how these people live so well, for so long, he goes on to discuss the Ikarian diet and lifestyle in detail.
And it sounds awesome:
Though the island has a 40% unemployment rate, Ikaria’s food-loving, super-social centenarians stay up late dancing and drinking, wake up late, work in their vegetable gardens, nap in the afternoon, and get together throughout the day to drink wine, gossip, and share simple food. Honey, olive oil, goat’s milk, and seasonal vegetables play a large part in their diet.
Buettner doesn’t reduce things down to a formula for longevity, but hey go ahead and feel good about drinking at lunchtime and falling asleep in the afternoon.