MASON CITY, Iowa – People have been stopping into The Hungry Mind for a bite to eat for more than 30 years now. Over time the menu has had some changes, but when the Blue Zones announcement happened, owner Karl Langhart, knew he needed to really change things up.
“So it was a no-brainer for me. I just want people to think of the hungry mind as a healthy choice,” said Langhart.
So Langhart went back to the menu board. Sandwiches started to stack up with different ingredients.
“Do the calories, how much calories those items were. I offer them now a choice of soup, salad, or potato salad instead of chips,” said Langhart.
The changes helped The Hungry Mind become Blue Zone certified, but Langhart’s not alone. 37 businesses are also Blue Zone certified along with eight other restaurants. Now those changes are helping Mason City become an official, Blue Zone community.
“And they’re the ones that engaged the individuals. They’re the ones who are leading the way. The restaurants have been fantastic to offer some additional offerings for you that meet the Blue Zone requirement,” said Gary Pyle.
Pyle is part of a group that comes up with strategies on how to use the Blue Zone program to make healthy changes, and he says the changes seem to be sticking but not without some support.
“I’m proud of this moment, because it’s really a community effort. It’s not about individuals, it’s about community effort. It’s about a group of people who came together to form a strategy that will lead to longer, healthier lives, in Mason City,” said Pyle.
The Blue Zone Project in Mason City started up in May 2012. It’s an effort to improve communities by providing more healthy options.