The trees are already showing signs of autumn and there is a certain feeling in the air that has us chucking our floozy beach reads for something more substantial.
If you’re feeling anything like us, have we got just the book for you: The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food ($30). The book is authored by local-boy-made-good, Dan Barber, who in addition to now being an accomplished writer, is also the esteemed chef of Blue Hill in the West Village and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Oh, and in 2009, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
So it’s with good reason we should all lend an ear to Barber’s realization that the farm-to-table movement doesn’t do enough to have a lasting impact on our food system.
Coming in at almost 450 pages, this book is no lightweight, but neither are its ideas. Barber reimagines our food system and our plate centered not around meat with a few vegetables, or even grass-fed meat with local vegetables, but a new way of eating rooted in cooking with the whole farm—an integrated system of vegetable, grain and livestock production.
Barber says it best himself: “Truly flavorful food involves a recipe more complex than anything I can conceive in the kitchen. It speaks to something beyond the crop, the cook, or the farmer—to the entirety of the landscape, and how it fits together. It can best be expressed in places where good farming and delicious food are inseparable.”