A sixth Fairfield restaurant receives Blue Zone Project certification

Sanige and David Foraker own Istanbul Grille located at 50 S. 2nd St. They take pride in serving Mediterranean, Turkish and American cuisine.

"It's nice because David is making the really healthy foods, and now we have the certification; everybody knows we have the nice healthy food," Sanige said. "We are happy actually."'

On Wednesday the restaurant owners received official Blue Zone Project certification.

"Many communities across the state that are Blue Zones that are under 10,000, they only have three or four different restaurants whereas Fairfield has 28, so it makes it a unique challenge we've been presented with, but Istanbul Grill is our latest, and we're really pleased that they have stepped up and become recognized through the Blue Zone," Ken Daley, Blue Zones Project Fairfield, said.

In order for a community to become Blue Zone certified 25-percent of its locally owned restaurants have to be qualified.

â??So that's seven restaurants, so really we only have one more to go, so we're really close to having this one checked off,â?? Daley said.

The Blue Zones Project is a wellbeing improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes in the community.

Istanbul Grille joins, Green Gourmet, the Gardens Seasonal Kitchen, Revelations, Yummy's and Doc's Inn as a designated site in Fairfield.

â??They just came over and said what do you think about Blue Zones, and I said great and really we had already done so many things that were Blue Zone,â?? Carol Schmidt, Docâ??s Inn Café owner said. â??We didn't really have to do anything. We just told them we have fruit we serve with every meal, and veggie chips we serve with every meal. We don't have any fried food here.â??

â??This is a very big project because we're talking about taking a community and trying to transform the culture of a community, so it's a very intricate thing to do,â?? Daley said.

Fairfield is one of 15 Blue Zones project demonstration sites in the state of Iowa.