One of the food world’s most provocative voices will make an appearance in “America’s Farm-to-Fork-Capital.” Dan Barber, the chef/co-owner of Blue Hill in New York City and author of “The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food,” will speak on Oct. 6 at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria in downtown Sacramento.
“The Third Plate” was selected by the Sacramento Public Library for its One Book program, which will include a series of book clubs and other events leading up to Barber’s appearance.
“The Third Plate” was released by Penguin Press in May of 2014 and has become required reading for the farmers market set and supporters of sustainable agriculture. The book offers many critiques of current farm-to-fork practices and proposes an entirely new paradigm of farm and food production, one that considers the best interest of the soil or farm over what consumers simply expect. In the case of Sacramento, that could mean less emphasis on resource-heavy crops such as tomatoes, which Barber likens in “The Third Plate” to the Hummers of the vegetable world.
“We need to turn the culture on its head,” said Barber, in an interview with The Bee in June 2104. “It’s not farm-to-table. It’s the farmer growing what he expects will sell at the market that morning. That carries a greater return on the investment, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best possible thing for the land.”
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These kinds of notions are big conversation starters in a city like Sacramento, where issues of local food and farms receive plenty of attention from consumers and city officials alike. The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, the key organization behind Sacramento’s farm-to-table campaign, and the non-profit Food Literacy Center are helping to make Barber’s visit possible.
“One goal of our 2015 One Book program is to help people understand the full life cycle of their food,” said Rivkah K. Sass, director of the Sacramento Public Library, in a statement. “I can’t think of a better person to help us do that than Dan Barber.”
At 496 pages, “The Third Plate” is no poolside read, but a rich tome on food matters and how improvements can be made in many facets of the food chain.
We’ll keep you posted as more details related to Barber’s appearance emerge. For more information: www.saclibrary.org.
Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias.