Dan Barber Talks on How to Make Farm-to-Table A Truly Sustainable Movement

Amy Kundrat

Photo: Food 52

In a recent interview with Yale's Environment 360, Dan Barber dsicussed the failure of the farm-to-table movement to support sustainable agriculture on a large scale. He tasked "the table that must support the farm, not the other way around."  For the full interview and to listen to the podcast, visit Environment 360.

But I went to Klaas’s farm [in upstate New York] to learn this recipe of wheat and I was standing in the middle of a field and all of a sudden discovered that he was growing very little wheat, and that instead he was growing a whole suite of lowly grains like millet and buckwheat and barley, and leguminous crops like Austrian winter peas and kidney beans. He was growing a lot of cover crops like vetch and clover. And they were all very meticulously timed and spread out among the 2,000 acres that I was standing in the middle of. And that’s when I sort if had this agricultural epiphany. But it led to this gastronomic epiphany, which was that here I was as a farm-to-table chef waving the flag of sustainability and realizing I realized I needed to look at what truly supporting the farm meant and extend it to the menu.” that I wasn’t supporting most of the farm.