Eating the Whole Farm

Michelle Obama Hosts Farm-To-Table Lunch For Spouses Of World Leaders

POCANTICO HILL, NY – SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, Colombian First Lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez De Santos (2nd R), Haitian First Lady Elisabeth D. Preval (R), and Executive Chef of Blue Hill restaurant Dan Barber (4th R) talk with students from JFK Magnet School and Pocantico Hills Central School at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture on September 24, 2010 in Pocantico Hills, Westchester county, New York. The visit is part of the First Lady’s healthy eating program. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

As cooks and eaters, we need to engage in the nuts and bolts of true agricultural sustainability.

~ Dan Barber

Map of Farm-to-Table Restaurants
Had any mustard greens, cowpeas, buckwheat, kidney beans, barley, or millet lately? If not, you should be considering these crops as part of your diet.
Food is more than individual ingredients—it’s a web of interconnected systems. Hence, we should follow the example of our ancestors and start eating the produce that the earth wants to give, instead of demanding that the earth cough up the items on our grocery lists.

This is what Dan Barber argues in his book The Third Plate. Dan is the executive chef and co-owner of Blue Hill, a restaurant and working farm in Pocantico Hills, New York. There is also a Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. As Dan writes in his New York Times Op-Ed:
Today, almost 80 percent of Americans say sustainability is a priority when purchasing food. The promise of this kind of majority is that eating local can reshape landscapes and drive lasting change.
Except it hasn’t. More than a decade into the movement, the promise has fallen short…. Big Food is getting bigger, not smaller. In the last five years, we’ve lost nearly 100,000 farms (mostly midsize ones). Today, 1.1 percent of farms in the United States account for nearly 45 percent of farm revenues.

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