Notes To Self

Dan Barber’s Third Plate

October 01, 2014
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Cover of Dan Barber's Book
Dan Barber, an award-winning chef, moves beyond “farm-to-table” to offer a revolutionary new way of eating.

Meet Dan Barber: lauded chef, local food movement demi-god, TED talks superstar, and owner of the famed Blue Hill restaurant in New York and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, his homage to farm-to-table cuisine.

When you pick up his book, “The Third Plate”, a product of ten years of research on how people have eaten across the globe for century upon century, you might wonder if one of the greatest proponents of eating local has abandoned the farm-to-table ship. Well, the short answer is yes.

What Barber concludes is that while local food systems and locavores have changed how and what they eat, they have not substantially changed the food system. We have moved from the “first plate”, a large portion of commercially produced animal protein surrounded by GMO vegetables and starches, to the “second plate”, a large portion of local, conscientiously raised animal protein surrounded by heirloom vegetables grown by area farmers.

However, it is time for the “third plate” where meat and vegetable portions are reversed, and we eat in the most sustainable manner for the earth. Instead of demanding that the land produce what we want to eat, we must begin to eat what feeds the soil and sustains the farm. We think he’s onto something. Check it out.

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