Lazy Acres

Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano and Chef Billy Lansing from Playa Hermosa Fish & Oyster Co. took first place in the Blue Zones Project cook off as part of Beach Cities Health District’s Lazy Acres Social Hour event.

Blue Zones Project is a well-being improvement initiative that Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) has been implementing locally in the Beach Cities since 2010. Born from extensive research in the five areas of the world where people live the longest lives (coined “Blue Zones”), the project aspires to make the healthy choice the easy choice for people by purposefully engineering health into environments where they live, work, learn and play.

To earn Blue Zones Project Approval, Lazy Acres worked with BCHD to implement a series of evidence-based modifications that encourage healthier shopping behaviors. A few examples of improvements the market made include: highlighting Blue Zones food items in the produce section and store shelves; “Blue Zones Checkout Lane” that features nuts and healthy snacks rather than candy

and soda; providing kids with an apple to snack on while they shop with their parents; and placing Blue Zones parking away from building entrances to encourage extra steps.

Research shows that when healthier food options are stocked in more accessible shelf spaces, sales of those items increase. These findings are further supported by dozens of Blue Zones Project Approved grocers around the country, which report experiencing surges in the sales of produce and other healthy food items after implementing the environmental changes.

“Highlighting health throughout the store is good for our customers and our bottom line,” said Lazy Acres Hermosa Beach Store Director David Schaefer. “We’ve always had a deep commitment to offering a wide selection of wholesome, nutritious foods, so partnering with BCHD to become Blue Zones Approved just made sense. We encourage people to visit us and experience the difference for themselves.”

To celebrate Lazy Acres’ Blue Zones Project Approved designation, BCHD held a community “Social Hour” event at the market on November 13. The event, which was attended by more than 200 people, featured healthy cooking demonstrations, food samples and a cook-off between local elected officials and community leaders from Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo Beach.

For more information on the Blue Zones Project in the Beach Cities, visit bchd.org/bzp.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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