when organic isn’t enough

the third plate

Right when we thought we’ve come so far in our efforts to embrace the organic movement and subsequently protect the planet, someone has come along and popped our proverbial, righteous bubble.

Dan Barber, chef of the sophisticated, suburban New York farm-to-table restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, knocks tree-hugging environmentalists on their behinds while issuing a sharp critique of the mainstream farming/food establishment to boot in his new book, “The Third Plate.”

Available digitally since May 2014 and coming out in hardback in April 2015, Barber’s some 500-page text analyzes the many faults in modern American food production that have led to the release of excessive levels of methane gas and increased dependence on pesticide use. Some of his arguments echo those made some five decades earlier by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring, an alarming, brilliant and forward-thinking book that I urge everyone to read.

The Third Plate’s equally ominous and optimistic subtitle “Notes on the Future of Food” suggests that changes far above rand beyond locally grown, organic produce must be made to create a truly sustainable farm culture, while also offering a mysteriously enticing sense of hope for the next generation of environmentalists who must be both willing and able to embrace his proposals.