Monday, April 30, 2018

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food
By Dan Barber
Penguin Books, 2015. 496 pages. Nonfiction

Dan Barber is well known for being a hero of the farm-to-table and local food movements, but in this book he addresses some of the ways that those movements still fall short of true sustainability.  Thinking of the detrimental practices of our past, and our misguided present, Barber points to a future "third plate," where he hopes that good farming and good food can intersect.

Fans of Michael Pollan's writing will find a kindred spirit in Dan Barber.  I was especially drawn to his examples of how responsibly grown or raised food can be among the most delicious food that we can enjoy, because the things that make a crop or livestock sustainable are the very things that make it more delicious.  As we come to understand how generations of food producers bred foods for yield and disease resistance, but never for flavor, Dan Barber shows us a way forward that is better for the earth and better for our palates as well.


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