The Third Plate x Health, Introduction.

A few months ago, I hopped on the Netflix bandwagon; however, I didn’t fall in love with immediately, instead, it took two converging themes to bring me onto the “chill” team. The first was that I unearthed a passion for cooking, especially using fresh produce and locally sourced meat, and the second, I started to watch Chef’s Table, a Netflix original series on the Chef’s behind fine-dining. The first episode I enjoyed; however, being true to my character, I couldn’t sit still while watching it, and thought about powering down the streaming service. That being said, I stuck to it, and the second episode changed my opinion of the show, and the platform, because it connected me to Chef Dan Barber.

Chef Dan is the lead Chef, and co-owner of Blue Hills in Manhattan and Blue Hills at Stone Barns. The focus of the episode is more so on the latter, and the forward-thinking, and norm-breaking, agriculture and cooking ideologies occurring there. In this episode, the Chef, and his colleagues at the restaurant and adjacent farm, discuss their vision to be at forefront of positing a new viewpoint for Western agriculture techniques. It is here that they introduce the Chef Dan original concept of The Third Plate.

Before, I could understand the density of the idea, I had to order his book on the topic, because the show wasn’t enough. He entitled it, fittingly, The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food”, Chef Dan describes the essence of the Plate, as being,

“Less a plate, per se, than a different way of cooking, or assembling a dish, or writing a menu, or sourcing ingredients — or really all these thing.”

As I continued along in the book, I was hooked. Not only because I found some parallels with his ambition and way of thinking — with myself, but I was also seduced by his scholarly thoughts, habit to think outside the box, and ability to care unconditionally for the health of others.

In the opening part, “Soil,” he discusses our lack of intimacy with our farms and farming techniques, which subsequently, leads to ignorance of the land and crops, and eventually loss and poor produce. He then begins to add characters, and tell stories defending his thesis, and it is here that I begin to visualize the connections between agriculture and human health, along with having the desire to write about it.

Therefore, here are the articles, and the three parallels I found in the opening section, hope you enjoy:

Article one: The similarity between plant health and human health.

Article two: Farmers aren’t the only individuals with a sect, ignoring the source of the pain, in favour of solely treating the symptoms.

Article three: Grandma was right when she told us that too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing.

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