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The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food Audio CD – Audiobook, May 20, 2014


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611763215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611763218
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.5 x 5.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A groundbreaking chef at one of Manhattan’s first farm-to-table restaurants, Barber shares his vision of good food’s future. Cooking per se doesn’t constitute this chef’s passion. He cares about where foods come from, how they’re grown, and whether they can be harvested into the future. To learn about soil’s role, he visits an organic farm in upstate New York, where an insightful, dedicated farmer diversifies crops and grows for quality and not solely for quantity. A Spanish farmer teaches Barber about producing foie gras without force-feeding. He investigates fisheries. All this leaves Barber with some innovative ideas about how people ought to be eating—a third plate of grains, vegetables, and some meat or fish, all grown with ecological awareness and commitment to sustainability. Such a change from current ideas about dining fast and cheap calls for retraining the public palate away from blandness and uniformity and encouraging eaters to demand unique and distinctive flavors. --Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Washington Post:
“Not since Michael Pollan has such a powerful storyteller emerged to reform American food.”

Pittsburgh-Post Gazette:
“There hasn’t been a call-to-action book with the potential to change the way we eat since Michael Pollan’s 2006 release, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now there is. Dan Barber’s The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food is a compelling global journey in search of a new understanding about how to build a more sustainable food system….The Third Plate is an argument for good rather than an argument against bad. This recipe might at times be challenging, but what’s served in the end is a dish for a better future….Barber writes a food manifesto for the ages.”

The Chicago Tribune
“[A]uthor Dan Barber's tales are engaging, funny and delicious... The Third Plate invites inevitable comparisons with Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, which Barber invokes more than once. And, indeed, its framework of a foodie seeking truth through visits with sages and personal experiments echoes Pollan's landmark tome (not to mention his passages on wheat cultivation, which, astonishingly, best Pollan's corn cultivation chapters by many pages.) But at the risk of heresy, I would call this The Omnivore's Dilemma 2.0... The Third Plate serves as a brilliant culinary manifesto with a message as obvious as it is overlooked. Promote, grow and eat a diet that's in harmony with the earth and the earth will reward you for it. It's an inspiring message that could truly help save our water, air and land before it's too late.”



The Wall Street Journal:
"Compelling... The Third Plate reimagines American farm culture not as a romantic return to simpler times but as a smart, modern version of it...The Third Plate is fun to read, a lively mix of food history, environmental philosophy and restaurant lore... an important and exciting addition to the sustainability discussion.”

The Atlantic:
“When The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan’s now-classic 2006 work, questioned the logic of our nation’s food system, 'local' and 'organic' weren’t ubiquitous the way they are today. Embracing Pollan’s iconoclasm, but applying it to the updated food landscape of 2014, The Third Plate reconsiders fundamental assumptions of the movement Pollan’s book helped to spark. In four sections—'Soil,' 'Land,' 'Sea,' and 'Seed'—The Third Plate outlines how his pursuit of intense flavor repeatedly forced him to look beyond individual ingredients at a region’s broader story—and demonstrates how land, communities, and taste benefit when ecology informs the way we source, cook, and eat.”

The New York Times:
"Each grain represents an agricultural virtue: Rye, for example, builds carbon in the soil. Taken together, they argue for a new way of thinking about the production and consumption of food, a 'whole farm' approach that Mr. Barber explores, eloquently and zestfully, in The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food... Mr. Barber’s subjects tend to be colorfully eccentric and good talkers, capable of philosophizing by the yard. To put their efforts in context, Mr. Barber unobtrusively weaves in a hefty amount of science and food history. Readers will put the book down having learned quite a bit about the dehesa system of agriculture in Spain, and about the agricultural innovations of land-grant colleges. Mr. Barber also makes good use of his own CV, which yields some highly entertaining set pieces. From his early days training in France, he recalls a Vesuvian blowup by the chef Michel Rostang, enraged by a vegetable cook who uses the wrong potatoes in a fricassee. A dinner for a group of Gourmet editors at Stone Barns goes the wrong way fast when he sends out endangered bluefin tuna — and the plates are sent right back, the tuna untouched. ('I’m not going to lie to you, Chef: Cat’s got their tongue,' the distraught waiter reports.). Mr. Barber is a stylish writer and a funny one, too."

Los Angeles Examiner:
"In his engaging book, Barber illustrates through examples, and stories how flavor, food and culture are tied to place. Like wine, carrots, tomatoes, other produce and pastured livestock all have their own terroir that’s tied to soil, the micro climate and what livestock eat which, in turn, helps or should help define regional cuisine. As Barber repeatedly notes in his book, you are what you eat eats, and to have healthy flavorful and nutritious foods, you have to begin with healthy and well-nourished soils that are interdependent upon both plants and animals."

Vice President Al Gore:
"Dan Barber’s new book, The Third Plate, is an eloquent and thoughtful look at the current state of our nation’s food system and how it must evolve. Barber’s wide range of experiences, both in and out of the kitchen, provide him with a rare perspective on this pressing issue. A must read.”

Marion Neslte:
"Here’s a welcome addition to any library. Dan Barber, justifiably renowned chef of Blue Hill in New York City and at Stone Barns and its farm in Westchester, writes as well as he cooks—and that’s very well indeed."

Ruth Reichl, author of Garlic and Sapphires and Tender at the Bone:
“In this compelling read Dan Barber asks questions that nobody else has raised about what it means to be a chef, the nature of taste, and what 'sustainable' really means. He challenges everything you think you know about food; it will change the way you eat. If I could give every cook just one book, this would be the one.”

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Command and Control:
"Dan Barber is not only a great chef, he's also a fine writer. His vision of a new food system—based on diversity, complexity, and a reverence for nature—isn't utopian. It's essential."

Malcolm Gladwell, author of David and Goliath and The Tipping Point:
“I thought it would be impossible for Dan Barber to be as interesting on the page as he is on the plate. I was wrong.”

Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction and Field Notes from a Catastrophe:
The Third Plate is one of those rare books that's at once deft and searching—deeply serious and equally entertaining. Dan Barber will change the way you look at food.”

Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower and The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook:
"After my first meal at Blue Hill, I paid Dan the ultimate farmer compliment. I told him that he made vegetables taste almost fresher after he had prepared them than when the farmer harvested them. Now I am equally impressed with his writing. Food has stories and Dan tells the stories as well as he cooks. If you want to know about food, read this book."

Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon:
“Dan Barber writes with the restrained lushness with which he cooks. In elegant prose, he argues persuasively that eating is our most profound engagement with the non-human world. How we eat makes us who we are and makes the environment what it is. It all needs to change, and Barber has written a provocative manifesto that balances brave originality and meticulous research. His food is farm-to-table; his eloquent, impassioned book is farm-to-heart."

Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home:
“Dan Barber is as fine a thinker and writer as he is a chef—which is saying a great deal. This book uses its ingredients—the insights of some of the finest farmers on the planet—to fashion something entirely new: a recipe for the future.”

Publishers Weekly:
“Barber’s work is a deeply thoughtful and–offering a ‘menu for 2050’–even visionary work for a sustainable food chain.”
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

DAN BARBER is the Chef of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country's Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

Customer Reviews

This book is wonderfully informative, and superbly entertaining at the same time.
Ari
If you plan to read this book, be prepared for the fact that you will want to start changing some of your eating and food-sourcing habits.
MussSyke
The ones you want to skip are in the first section of the book, where you can learn more about soil than you’ll ever want to know.
Jesse Kornbluth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thought Michael Pollan’s "The Omnivore’s Dilemma" was pretty much the last word about the food we eat, why we eat it, its cost to our health and the planet’s health, and how we can do better.

I wasn’t alone in that view. But the gold standard is now Dan Barber’s “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.”

Dan Barber is the chef at Blue Hill at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York and at Blue Hill New York. At those restaurants, as the foodies among you know, Barber has taken farm-to-table dining to its logical extreme — he grows much of the food he cooks. The difference between his meals and the organic cooking of other chefs begins and ends with that fact. His carrots seem to be from a different, finer planet. Ditto his lamb. The wonder is that the source of his otherworldly food is this planet — Barber has found a way to tastes that most of us have never experienced.

“Perhaps no other chef in New York City does as enthusiastic an impersonation of the farmer in the dell as Mr. Barber, and perhaps no other restaurant makes as serious and showy an effort to connect diners to the origins of their food as Blue Hill,” Frank Bruni wrote in the New York Times, awarding Blue Hill three stars. “Here the meals have back stories, lovingly rendered by servers who announce where the chanterelles were foraged and how the veal was fed. It’s an exercise in bucolic gastronomy, and it might be slightly cloying if it weren’t so intensely pleasurable.”

Sorry, but it is cloying.
Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By NYFB [Je suis Charlie] on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Dan Barber as a chef and author offers his knowledge about nutrition and diet through his experience that he has earned on his farm and his award winning restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns located along the Hudson River in New York. I as a nutritionist have a very good idea of the nutritional values of a food ingredients but Dan offers the knowledge of farming and the impact of different plants to the soil and the environment. The relation of growing food and the type of food offered by Dan is the same argument that has existed for last few decades with Agra business with their unsustainable farming practices on the other side of the isle. Rotation and variety attracts many different healthy bugs as well as offer nutrients to soil but instead big Agra tries to achieve the maximum yield per acre with the same crop year after year with heavy use of chemicals which encourage the super-bugs and destruction of habitat for all healthy organism. We humans truly have a lot to lose regardless how sophisticated and intelligent creations we may consider ourselves unless we address issues raised by Dan.

Dan covers the Veta La Palma fish farm in his TED TALK. Amazing story of human accomplishment by Spain but yet embarrassing to other countries with wealth and knowledge where they lack the simple equation of ecosystem in their own environment especially for US where they could have created the bigger version of Veta La Palma farm in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By barrosd12 on July 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the first time I'm actually writing out a review for an item on Amazon, but if there's one book that deserves a glowing recommendation, it's Dan Barber's "The Third Plate".

I have to admit, I had no idea what I was in for with this one - I had recently come off of another fantastic book called "Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" and was looking for more information on how our food systems came to be and how to be a better consumer of food (something that Barber is also interested in).

The book is broken down into sections detailing farming, animal farming, fish farming, and finally seed genetics. The topics are covered with a fascination I have not seen successfully translated into prose in quite some time. Barber proves he's not only a fantastic chef, but also a tremendous writer. Just as he is discovering how little he himself knows about food, you too come along for the ride as we meet several of the farmers, chefs, and people he has met on his own awakening.

Rather than giving you a synopsis, let me tell you why this book is one of the top 10 I have ever read - no other book of this type has challenged my preconceptions about food and about the farming and systems surrounding food as this book has. Barber opens the book by describing what he terms "The Third Plate", an theoretical plate of food that will be able to feed future generations - by the end of the book, I found myself wondering what sorts of things I would be able to do as a humble home cook to discover and realize my own version of the plate that he describes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sibelius on June 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At 450+ pages this is a long and detailed book that steadily maintains a laconic pace with author, Dan Barber, leisurely meandering to and fro ruminating and contemplating on the flaws of the modern food industrial system and how to fix it in order to feed the planet in a sustainable (and pleasurable) manner. While there is a certain severity to the content I found the volume in its entirety to be a veritable page turner - Barber has a lot to say and share and he manages to do so in a compelling and personable manner that slowly unfolds all while educating the reader every step of the way.

The book is comprised of 4 sections; 'Soil - Land - Sea - Seed,' and Barber's focus with each is from a foundation-infrastructure perspective. For example with 'Soil,' this is the essential component that fuels agriculture and so Barber examines the current state of the mega-agribusiness farming industry and how its practices continuously deteriorate soil and the resulting tasteless, less nutritious grains and vegetables that spring forth. Barber will then turn focus onto systems that manage each resource correctly - typically a 'whole farm' process that involves grain, veg and livestock production into one integrated system that holistically sustains and replenishes itself.

The best quality of the book is Barber's perspective as a 4-star Chef. While sustainability is the chief concern throughout, the quality of ingredients for the sake of delicious meals are also at front and center giving the book a nice balance between hard-edged, environmental concern and measured foodie pleasure.
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