date: Friday, November 5th, 2010
time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern
duration: 90 minutes

From Atlanta we take you to Indianapolis to bring you a New York chef who is a game-changing voice of the farm-to-table movement. Tonight at 7:30 pm Eastern, we’ll be streaming live video of Krista’s interview with Dan Barber, of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns fame, from the Spirit & Place Festival in Indianapolis.

Barber is a James Beard Award winner, who is using his New York restaurants to highlight the distinct quality of locally grown, seasonal, and sustainable agriculture. His approach to mindful eating and the values surrounding food in contemporary lives is something you don’t want to miss.

How this public event came about has been serendipitous. A number of years ago Krista interviewed Rabbi Sandy Sasso for a show on the spirituality of parenting. It so happens that she’s been deeply involved in an annual, 10-day festival called Spirit & Place, Indiana’s largest civic festival, which promotes “civic engagement, respect for diversity, thoughtful reflection, public imagination, and enduring change through creative collaborations between arts, faith-based, and civic institutions.” She invited us to come down and we accepted!

This venue is an ideal forum for our conversation, which will enlarge and deepen our understanding about sustainability issues through discussing core human values of beauty and living in relationship with one another. Dan Barber stresses that, for him, a core value of sustainability is expressed through an age-old tradition: “The sustainability stuff comes in through the stories. The thing that the industrial food chain will never have is the ability to tell stories.” I look forward to hearing him tell some of those stories and share his imagination about how those narratives enliven his experiences as a grower and chef and thinker.

Dan BarberWhile preparing for this public event, I can’t help but hear echoes of Krista’s conversation with Ellen Davis — specifically, about getting to know your farmer and understanding where your food comes from. He seems to be one of those bridge people whose appreciation for food and the land was cultivated by working Blue Hill Farm in the Berkshires as a teenager, where he spent most summers “bailing hay and moving cows, pasturing them from field to field.” His Know Thy Farmer effort reminds me of a fabulous film campaign out of Maine called Meet Your Farmer, which emphasizes the values in understanding the struggle of people producing food, the joy of working intimately with others, and celebrating a table of locally grown produce and meat and its flavors even more.

He’s also a businessman. Dan Barber builds on the idea of interdependency but applies it in a fresh way through his fine dining restaurants — that both businesses and livelihoods of the people who work there are mutually dependent. In effect, his farm depends on the viability of his restaurants and his restaurants rely on the quality of the food produced at his farm.

In ten short years, Barber has impacted public consciousness about our everyday food choices and perhaps even agricultural policy. In 2009 he was named to the annual Time 100 list. In 2010, the World Economic Forum invited him to Davos, Switzerland to participate in their annual meeting, and President Barack Obama appointed him to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. And his TED2010 talk has become a sensation that has been forwarded to more than one of our producers’ email in-boxes.

Please join us right here or on the Being LIVE page and watch the live stream of this public conversation. For those of you who can’t make it, not to worry. We’re recording it and video will be immediately available for playback after the event.


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2Reflections

Reflections

My family just finished watching your conversation with Dan Barber. Thank you for bringing it to us! Last spring, we had the privilege of eating at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Krista, Rabbi Sandy Sasso was right when she said the food, and the experience, is really beyond words.

Once before, when I was in college, I went home with a classmate of mine and his parents prepared a meal that was completely "of the land". His father had killed the deer that provided the venison, and the potatoes and carrots and corn and salad greens were from the family land. I recognized then (30 years ago) that this meal provided not only nourishment, but a profound spiritual connection with the land.

In a similar way, a trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns allowed us to experience that connection. One of the dishes consisted of an egg, likely freshly laid hours before, with some greens and other seasonings. When I tasted it, tears came to my eyes, it was so...well, "delicious" doesn't begin to do it justice, and the experience was beyond words. Really, you have to experience it. I would very much urge you, when next you are in the New York area, to dine there if at all possible. It is a transcendent event (also very expensive, but completely worth it!)

Thank you and your staff for all you do. Your show is consistently outstanding.

This guy has some good ideas and is acting on them.  Let's find ways to help people connect with healthy sustainably and humanely grown/processed food- and have FUN doing it, and great pleasure eating it!!
First of all lead by example, have the conversation with friends, family, neighbors, even strangers. The Standard American Diet is exactly that S.A.D.

apples