Last summer, I had the honor to contribute to the Human Longevity Project. Now, I am excited to present to you the premiere of this nine-part documentary film series that will take you on an exciting foray around the globe, on a mission to discover the secrets of the longest-lived and healthiest populations on Earth.
My personal journey with health practitioner and filmmaker Jason Prall and cinematographer and photographer John Dahlgren began on the island of Guernsey where we attended Journey To 100, a one-day conference that explored ideas for a new and sustainable approach to lifelong health, featuring leading experts in the field of health, nutrition, and wellness. There, I met a handful of amazing functional medicine practitioners and advocates likes James Maskell, founder of the Evolution of Medicine, an organization that empowers doctors and health professionals to deliver community-focused integrative functional medicine, Sachin Patel of The Living Proof Institute who eventually had me on his podcast, integrative pediatrician Dr. Sheila Kilbane who contributed a wonderful piece on ear infections, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee of the BBC’s Doctor in the House, and Michel Poulin Ph.D., the demographer who coined the term Blue Zones, an anthropological concept that describes the characteristic lifestyles and the environments of the world’s longest-lived people.
From the English Channels, I traveled with them to Sardegna where I met 94-year-old Salvatore Scanu, to Rome to meet Sonia Massari of the Gustolab Institute where’s I’ve studied and taught a class, to Athens to film metabolomics pioneer Dr. Dimitris Tsoukalas, and finally to Ikaria where we met extraordinary people who are living vibrant, healthy lives into their 80s, 90s, and 100s, such as Vasilis Stenos, a sprite 85-year-old beekeeper who spoke about the importance of eating clean locally grown food.
I only spent a smidgen of time with the filmmakers as this film was shot over two years, in over 50 locations, in nine countries, and on three continents. The Human Longevity Project uncovers the key lifestyle, environmental, and physiological components to avoid chronic disease, increase health span, and put the brakes on aging in our modern world.
Human Longevity In A Modern World
Since the advent of modern agriculture and the Green Revolution, almost 80 years ago, our health, as well as the health of the planet, has taken a turn for the worse. As someone who has been covering the food supply and environment for more than a decade, I can tell you with certainty that toxic chemicals and metals have decimated our food, water, air, and soil. Meanwhile, our atmosphere is blanketed in electromagnetic radiation, and chronic mental and emotional stress has become the norm. Our society is fixated on technological connections while authentic community dissolves.
Despite all of our modern advances, one in every two people suffers from a chronic illness today, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here are more statistics that impair human longevity:
- The percentage of American children and adolescents who are considered overweight or obese has tripled since 1970.
- Over 1/3 of American children are overweight or obese.
- Columbia University researchers project that there will be anywhere from $48 – $66 billion added to current health care costs each year between now and 2030.
- More than 70 percent of adults across the United States have already been diagnosed with a chronic disease.
- Treatment of the seven most common chronic diseases, coupled with productivity losses, costs the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion annually.
So many of these issues are created by lifestyle factors and the solutions for them are rarely found inside a doctor’s office. Given these sad stats, what do people in Blue Zones do differently? What does the scientific research and evidence have to say? What can we learn from this – and how can we apply this knowledge in today’s modern world?
Here’s a breakdown of the 9 episodes in this series.
- The Truth About Aging: Can It Be Slowed or Even Reversed?
- The Gut & Immune System: How Microbes Keep You Free Of Disease
- Diet and Exercise: The Surprising Habits of Healthy Populations
- Toxic Planet: How To Be Healthy In A Sick World
- Sleep, Light & Disease: Where The Western World Went Wrong and How To Fix it
- Raising Healthy Kids: Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond
- Purpose, Gratitude & Community: What Healthy Societies Know That We Don’t
- Cancer & Alzheimer’s: How Centenarians Avoid Diseases of Aging
- The Way Forward: Combining Ancient Wisdom With Modern Technology
You will finish the series educated, possessing the tools needed to make changes in your own life, and inspired to share this life-changing information with your own friends, family, and community!
Watch The Human Longevity Project Trailer: