Could Dan Barber’s giant parsnip steak save the planet? It’s a good start
That's right... giant parsnip steak. Sound appetizing? In this video, chef Dan Barber explains why it's important to cook your food using a diverse array of natural ingredients from your local environment.
DAN BARBER is the Chef of Blue Hill, a restaurant in Manhattan's West Village, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, located within the nonprofit farm and education center, Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications. Barber has received multiple James Beard awards including Best Chef: New York City (2006) and the country's Outstanding Chef (2009). In 2009 he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.
To expand on his philosophy of cooking with sustainably grown, local ingredients, Dan has been working with such organizations as the Kellogg Foundation, Slow Food USA and Earth Pledge to minimize the political and intellectual rhetoric around agricultural policies and to instead maximize the appreciation of eating good food. Focusing on the issues of pleasure, taste and regional bounty-and how these imperatives are threatened-Dan helped create the philosophical and practical framework for Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and continues to help guide it in its mission to create a consciousness about the effects of everyday food choices.
He is author of the book The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food.
Dan Barber: The Third Plate came off of research about the history of our food culture. And what I came to realize is that we have a pretty bad history when it comes to food culture and really what that means is that we eat off of this — or we have been eating off of what I was calling the first plate which is a protein-centric plate of food. It’s a steak, a seven-ounce steak with a little bit of vegetable, a little bit of grain on the side. But essentially it’s protein; [it] takes center stage. And the second plate, as I describe in my book, is sort of we’ve come out of the first plate and enter the second plate with this farm-to-table movement. The good food movement. It’s really about knowing where your ingredients come from. So the steak is now grass-fed and the vegetables are organic and the grain is, you know, I mean instead of white rice, it’s whole grains.
But the problem with the second plate is that it looks very much like the first plate. The architecture is the same. So while it’s a better plate of food — gastronomically it’s better and from an environmental perspective it’s better. The architecture dictates a kind of caring capacity that the land can’t support; at least in our region it can’t support it for very long. For a growing population, for a cuisine or for a pattern of eating, you know, two times a day, seven days a week, to expect that kind of architecture from our diets is a huge expectation. And to export that diet to the rest of the world, the Western diet. It’s really the American diet is unfortunate and also the true definition of not sustainable. So the third plate is sort of a way to kind of circle out of that and take the progress of knowing where our ingredients come from, but changing the architecture and looking at a plate of food not so much as what we expect from our lunch or dinner, but what is the land telling us it can provide and then figuring out a cuisine, a pattern of eating that responds [to the] landscape and actually improves landscape.
The best farmscapes or the best farmlands in any region are always about an abundance of diversity. Those are the healthiest landscapes because in a natural setting there’s no such thing as a monoculture. There’s no such thing as lack of diversity. In fact the world — a natural environment is defined by its diversity. Even the most severe environments. And so what we need to do as eaters because as eaters we are disrupting a natural food system, a natural system, any natural system. Domestication is about disruption of a natural system. And the art in eating and the art in cooking and the art in farming, all three of the correspondents of all three is really about disrupting that natural landscape thoughtfully and with a thought to the future. How can it not only be disrupted, but disrupted well so that it improves the ecological conditions and functioning of nature and doesn’t take away from it? That’s really the true definition of sustainability. How do we think about improving ecological function, water use, diversity, life both in the soil and above the soil, diversity of life? It’s always about diversity. So one surefire way to encourage that is to eat with a diverse plate. So if you’re cooking at home — by the way, if you’re cooking at home, you’re already doing a lot because that means somebody else isn’t cooking for you. When someone else cooks for you, it generally means that they’re cooking less delicious food and they’re cooking food that’s less good for you. Because usually when we process food we end up denuding it and denuding it in ways that go beyond just health and just flavor as well. So the best thing you can do is cook your own food. And then the second best thing you can do is cook with diversity.
Chef Dan Barber, author of The Third Plate, dishes out some keen knowledge about food, culture, and ecological diversity. If you're game on a very natural and non-processed diet, you have to devote yourself to collecting diverse ingredients.
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Researchers detect a large lake and several ponds deep under the ice of the Martian South Pole.
- Italian scientists release findings of a large underground lake and three ponds below the South Pole of Mars.
- The lake might contain water, with salt preventing them from freezing.
- The presence of water may indicate the existence of microbial and other life forms on the planet.
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"Nothing but naked people: fat ones, thin ones, old, young…"
"The Yellow Sands", 1888, John Reinhard Weguelin; source: Wikimedia Commons<h3>Naked revolution</h3><p>Yet long before anyone knew about beach fashion, naturism was trendy. Bathing naked in the sea was going on in England as early as 1840. However, during the reign of Queen Victoria, this pleasure was outlawed. But it popped up again among the conservative Germans. In 1898, the first Naturist Club was founded in Essen and in 1900 the Wandering Birds group (<em>Wandervögel</em>) was scouring the country for uninhabited places and naked sunbathing. In the same year, Heinrich Pudor wrote <em>The C</em><em>ult of </em><em>the </em><em>Nud</em><em>e</em>, winning the hearts of contemporary supporters of naturism.</p><p>In the 1920s, on the back of this, members of the Movement for Natural Healing (<em>Naturheilbewegung</em>) organized naked sunbathing for the improvement of health. Persuaded by Pudor's theory of the healing properties of the sun and wind, which could be absorbed through the skin, they launched the naked revolution.</p><p>Pudor's book became the naturists' manifesto and soon after, not far from Hamburg, the Free Body Culture (<em>Freikörperkultur</em>, or FKK) movement was founded. This spread through other German centres and brought together thousands of people. The FKK still operates under the same name today.</p><p>The cult of the naked body even wrote itself into the ideology of fascist Germany, which advocated a pure, Aryan race. But in 1933, Hermann Göring issued an order that defined nudity as "the greatest threat to the German soul" and, with that, criminalized naturist organizations. But this wasn't the end of the movement. The naturists went underground, continuing their activities under the guise of improving physical fitness.</p><p>In 1936, the idea was even floated of having a naturist display to open the Berlin Olympic Games. It was quickly dropped. Despite this, in 1939 the naturists managed to organize their own Games in the Swiss village of Thielle.</p>
A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- "The South Atlantic Anomaly" in the Earth's magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
- The information was gathered by the ESA's Swarm Constellation mission satellites.
- The changes may indicate the coming reversal of the North and South Poles.
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Crows have their own version of the human cerebral cortex.
Action-packed pallia<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0NzkyMS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzk1NzM1OH0.Tjb3zulFW2gwhteR124F9HGbmdnCqNqQFOBQouieTJ8/img.png?width=980" id="2bbc9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2907e4035e553565f4446e968ee73d92" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Fun with Ozzie and Glenn<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0Njk2MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzY4Njc2MX0.ZgpsPMCK6qOj2o0kErvVPjdua1EnMCIwCuHHGrb3LiY/img.jpg?width=980" id="acbeb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e286fecbb228a5ca8aa26fcd19f95a2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="two crows in a tree" />
Ozzie and Glenn not pictured
Credit: narubono/Unsplash<p>The kind of higher intelligence crows exhibited in the new research is similar to the way we solve problems. We catalog relevant knowledge and then explore different combinations of what we know to arrive at an action or solution.</p><p>The researchers, led by neurobiologist <a href="https://homepages.uni-tuebingen.de/andreas.nieder/" target="_blank">Andreas Nieder</a> of the University of Tübingen in Germany, trained two carrion crows (<em>Corvus corone</em>), Ozzie and Glenn.</p><p>The crows were trained to watch for a flash — which didn't always appear — and then peck at a red or blue target to register whether or not a flash of light was seen. Ozzie and Glenn were also taught to understand a changing "rule key" that specified whether red or blue signified the presence of a flash with the other color signifying that no flash occurred.</p><p>In each round of a test, after a flash did or didn't appear, the crows were presented a rule key describing the current meaning of the red and blue targets, after which they pecked their response.</p><p>This sequence prevented the crows from simply rehearsing their response on auto-pilot, so to speak. In each test, they had to take the entire process from the top, seeing a flash or no flash, and then figuring out which target to peck.</p><p>As all this occurred, the researchers monitored their neuronal activity. When Ozzie or Glenn saw a flash, sensory neurons fired and then stopped as the bird worked out which target to peck. When there was no flash, no firing of the sensory neurons was observed before the crow paused to figure out the correct target.</p><p>Nieder's interpretation of this sequence is that Ozzie or Glenn had to see or not see a flash, deliberately note that there had or hadn't been a flash — exhibiting self-awareness of what had just been experienced — and then, in a few moments, connect that recollection to their knowledge of the current rule key before pecking the correct target.</p><p>During those few moments after the sensory neuron activity had died down, Nieder reported activity among a large population of neurons as the crows put the pieces together preparing to report what they'd seen. Among the busy areas in the crows' brains during this phase of the sequence was, not surprisingly, the pallium.</p><p>Overall, the study may eliminate the layered cerebral cortex as a requirement for higher intelligence. As we learn more about the intelligence of crows, we can at least say with some certainty that it would be wise to avoid <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/science/26crow.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">angering one</a>.</p>