Monday, June 15, 2015

The Third Plate

I'm currently reading "The third plate" by Dan Barber. Dan Barber is an American chef and runs a restaurant that is part of his farm. He was a top New York chef who went from the farm to table concept of buying product direct from farmers to actually having his own farm and on farm restaurant. It's an interesting read about the change that is happening around the awareness of the consumer wanting to know where there food  comes from and advancing to the environmental effects that their consuming choices might have. I'm only half way through and the book is not exactly riveting, but it has some really good snippets of information and clarity! So far he's talked about the land, soil and the sea.

The soil of course is the key to any healthy land based animals and he travels the world - so far Spain is coming up a bit, to look at farmers who are really working with the environment and the way the animals, birds and fish are all connected. He's working out it's all about relationships from the soil through to the air, and everything in between.

The third plate concept is a flow on effect: the first plate is the classic meal centred on meat and three veg, the second is the farm to table and the third is "an integrated system of vegetable, cereal and livestock production that is fully supported - in fact - dictated - by what we choose to cook for dinner. .....where good farming and good food intersect."

I think that is what I'm striving towards - having a healthy environment, with a highly effective ecosystem that supports the production of healthy, nutritious food. I think we have four types of consumers:
1. the average Australian diet - typical western junk food diet, with some kind of normal meals thrown in.
2. the next level up is those that think they are being healthy - working out, eating "healthy food" that is low fat and lean meat. This form is heavily supported by Governments and mainstream medical.
3. then you get the conscious eater that wants animal fats, meats, loads of vegies, or skip the meat and just be vegetarian, low carb, maybe grain free, dairy free etc etc
4. The ethical conscious eater, who looks for free range, organic, local, no processed food, traditional foods, lots of vegies etc.

I think we need to work towards the fourth as that will lead to vibrant rural communities that can support the ever growing urban landscape.  I will be writing more about this book as I get more into it. What do you think of my summary of 4 consumers? Where do you sit?

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