Issue #63: Beware of Netflix propaganda (Blue Zones debunked) - Heart & Soil Supplements

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Issue #63: Beware of Netflix propaganda (Blue Zones debunked)

Hey Radical Health Seekers 👋

There’s a new documentary on Netflix called “Live to 100: Secrets of The Blue Zones”…

The Blue Zones are five regions of the world famous for their longevity, and are said to have a higher proportion of centenarians (100+) than average…

The documentary is inspiring, and presents a story of happy and healthy elders who work hard in the morning, walk and dance a lot, and make their own food from scratch…

But it also presents the narrative that the secret to their longevity is largely due to their low consumption of meat and other animal foods.

This is a nice story, but it belongs in a fiction book.

Because the documentary cherry-picks in order to present a plant-based narrative 🍒

And this isn’t the first time Netflix has done this.

Remember The Game Changers?

That was an overt piece of vegan propaganda that has since been widely debunked by many people, including us.

Live to 100: Secrets of The Blue Zones has already been picked up by the mainstream media, who are using it to further push the plant-based agenda…

This means more people will shift away from animal foods like meat, eggs and dairy, missing out on the most bioavailable, nutrient-dense foods as a consequence.

Now before we delve deeper, it’s worth noting that aside from diet, the documentary claims that other lifestyle factors contribute to the longevity of people in the Blue Zones too…

Including a stress-free lifestyle, strong communities, physical movement, and healthy relationships…

All of which no doubt DO contribute to a long and healthy life.

But the claim that the people who live in the Blue Zones eat mostly plant-based could not be further from the truth.

Let’s take a look:

The 5 Blue Zones are:

🇮🇹 Sardinia, Italy

🇯🇵 Okinawa, Japan

🇺🇸 Loma Linda, California, USA

🇨🇷 Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

🇬🇷 Ikaria, Greece

When they visited Sardina, the Netflix crew must have missed this (or decided not to film it):

That’s porceddu, a traditional Sardinian dish of roasted suckling pig.

And when they visited Ikaria, they must have insisted the locals hide their goats in the sheds for the day, because we don’t see them on film…

Even though goat meat (and the raw milk) is a key part of the traditional Ikarian diet.

Then there’s the Nicoya region of Costa Rica…

Here, the traditional diet might include a lot of beans and tortillas, but it also includes pork, pork brains, lard, bone soup, organ meats, fresh milk, eggs, salted fish and shellfish.

When they visit Okinawa in Japan, you get the impression the people mostly eat seaweed and sweet potatoes…

But they base this off of a post-war dietary survey from 1949, where the inhabitants were eating <1% meat and eggs at the time!

This post-war dietary snapshot was one of starvation, where no livestock was left, and the inhabitants were subsisting on roots.But Okinawans have historically eaten more animal foods than the rest of Japan, mainly because Buddhism, which often promotes vegetarianism, wasn’t as influential there [References: 1234).

But what about Loma Linda in California? Aren’t they actually vegetarian?

Well that’s a great question!

Located in Southern California, this Blue Zone is home to a large population of Seventh Day Adventists, a religious group who advocate for a plant-based diet as well as abstinence from tobacco and alcohol 🚬🍺

Now some studies do show Loma Linda residents living longer than the general population in California…

But similar improvements in longevity have also been found in other religious groups in California, like Mormons, who also shun tobacco and alcohol but do not shy away from meat consumption. 

So it’s much more likely that the avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, plus the tight-knit community is contributing to their enhanced longevity, and not their avoidance of animal foods.

Hong Kong: The Blue Zone Netflix doesn’t talk about

Hong Kong has one of the highest life expectancies in the world (85 years) and also has one of the highest rates of red meat consumption per capita, with an average consumption of almost 1.5 pounds of total meat per day.

An Inconvenient Study from 2022

Or what about this 2022 study where the authors conclude that the more meat people eat, the longer they live?

Here at Heart & Soil, we’ll never claim to have the truth about all things…

But we will always aim to guide you towards the truth.

Live to 100: Secrets of The Blue Zones is a heart-warming documentary that showcases some beautiful cultures and regions of the globe…

And demonstrates the importance of family, purpose, physical activity and a lack of stress in living a long, healthy and happy life.

The people behind the documentary (and Blue Zones idea in general) are most likely well intentioned…

But the plant-based narrative put forward is misleading and not grounded in truth.

In fact, the entire concept of the Blue Zones was set up by Dan Buettner as an LLC in 2003…

And led to a collection of best-selling books:

The Blue Zones LLC was then acquired by the 7th Day Adventist Church in 2020, the same 7th Day Adventists from Loma Linda who largely practice a plant-based diet.

So when you take into account those vested interests…

And combine it with the evidence to the contrary which we’ve presented you with today…

It’s clear to us that animal foods are a key part of living a long, healthy and radical life.

That’s all from us this week 👋

The Heart & Soil Team

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