The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2012.11.28 A Blue Zone on my sofa

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I'm pleased to announce that I've learned the secret to a long and healthy life. It may come as a surprise, both in its simplicity and in its taste. The secret, says a researcher, is beans.

Dan Buettner works with the National Geographic Society to study unusual longevity in certain parts of the world, areas that he calls Blue Zones: the highlands of Sardinia, the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, Okinawa, the Greek island of Ikaria and Loma Linda, Calif.

Buettner came up with nine common denominators, including a plant-based diet, and he says the cornerstone of longevity is beans. The Sardinians have their fava beans, the Costa Ricans their black beans, the Japanese their soybeans. There's also some pork consumed in those cultures, but it's more of a celebratory piece of meat rather than the daily regimen.

Consuming seven times the amount of beans as a typical American might lead to problems with another of Buettner's key characteristics: social activity. How to "ungas" the bean?

Some say to add a carrot to the boiling process and pour off the water twice. Some say to add baking soda while cooking and then rinse that off. But that throws away nutrients, others claim, so instead, during the final half hour of cooking, remove a quarter cup of liquid and add a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar. That will get rid of the indigestible oligosaccharides. If you're lazy like me and use beans from a can, you're stuck with the side effects.

With that out of the way, you need to consider exercise. The Blue Zone people don't choose to do exercise; they just have a lot of physical activity in their daily lives. In Okinawa, Buettner says, there's not much furniture. People are always getting up and down from the floor, even eating while sitting on the floor, and that's great exercise for an aging body.

Blue Zoners have what Buettner calls a support ecosystem to make it all work. It's a way of life that carries on generation after generation—a scaffolding below the diet. They have good social networks and faith-based communities—a belief in something bigger than themselves.

Buettner says there's no word for "retirement" for people in Okinawa. Instead, they know "ikigia" which could be explained as "the reason I get up in the morning."

How about this: I get up in the morning to nap later. My wife loves this one. Cultures that take little rests during the day have about one-third the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

If you were wondering about the Loma Linda connection, that city has an unusually high population of Seventh Day Adventists who follow a Biblical directive to eat a plant-based diet. Buettner spoke with a 101-year-old resident there who still drives a car and helps out the old folks by volunteering with seven organizations. People who volunteer tend to have lower health care costs.

Blue Zone cultures celebrate age rather than youth. Parents live with children or close by and they take an active role in the family through gardening and cooking. The rate of dementia is lower, particularly in Sardinia, and researchers wonder if the anti-inflammatory tea of oregano, rosemary and thyme might play a role.

Of course there are exceptions. Everyone knows of a heavy smoker who lived to 100 and a healthy exerciser who died at age 50, but generally disease takes its toll. Blue Zoners tend to die from a build up of cellular damage over the decades. 

The body has about 30 trillion cells. There's a turnover about every seven years, but problems pile up over the decades. Eventually, death from "old age" comes and Buettner says it's generally a fairly quick, inexpensive death that often comes during sleep.

Buettner spoke on the Diane Rehm show last week and you'll find a link to his Vitality Compass on the Nov. 21 show (thedianerehmshow.org). If you dare, plug your data into the compass and see where your life expectancy falls. 

I've gained 6.2 years from my lifestyle, but I could add many more if I would exercise regularly and lose some stress. The exercise can come later. It's time for a nap. I'll take it on the floor.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016