Join us for June’s literary feast to read The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by award-winning chef Dan Barber. Our nominations this month fell squarely into two camps: personal tales by novice cooks learning and loving regional cuisines (Julia Child’s My Life in France and Bill Buford’s Heat) and deconstructions of endemic problems in our modern food systems and cultures (Wenonah Hauter’s Foodopoly and Dan Barber’s The Third Plate). Our community is clearly a very socially-responsible crowd: voting came up 33.33 percent in favor of both Hauter’s and Barber’s books.
I did the only thing I could think of. I flipped a coin.
How do we break a tie at #1book140? Flip a 1935 buffalo nickel. Heads Foodopoly, tails The Third Plate— #1book140 (@1book140) May 31, 2014
I chose to flip a 1935 buffalo nickel and it came up tails (or, I mean, buffalo) and so we embark on Barber’s deconstruction of what’s wrong with farm-to-table and larger trends in local, organic food. (You should check out Hauter’s call-to-action too.)
Fortunately for us, Barber doesn’t just dissect the problem. He tries to provide us with some answers too. He says the future of food must rely on what he terms “the third plate,” a meal lovingly composed of what the soil bestows on us. “It combines tastes not based on convention, but because they fit together to support the environment that produced them,” he writes. Such a plate recognizes the ties between ingredients, the farmers, and nature at its core.