October 24 is National Food Day, a day designed to inspire Americans to change their diets and to lobby for changes to our food policies. It’s also the day that award-winning director Susan Rockefeller releases her new short documentary Food for Thought, Food for Life, which focuses on Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills as an example of forward-thinking farming that can save our food system.
The film is part of a nationwide outreach campaign (with over 8,000 “Food Day” events) aimed at bringing everyone to the table to address how we think about produce and choose what we eat. After all, everyone eats. Rockefeller uses Stone Barns to demonstrate to viewers how farm to table agriculture benefits the environment, the community and the health of its individuals, and drives home the point that what is good for the ecosystem of farms is also what’s best for flavor.
“I chose Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture because it is the most profound living laboratory for experimentation on local innovation in small scale agriculture,” said Rockefeller. “It is a vision of beauty, a destination, and magnet for people interested in food, agriculture, and local cuisine. Stone Barns is a leader in experimentation with breeders and with chefs around the world to continue the conversation about food, flavor, nutrition, and healthy soil.”
Stone Barns Board of Directors member Fred Kirschenmann narrates much of the 20-minute film, explaining that agriculture depleted much of the natural resources needed to sustain the industry, and that the Center’s mission to be a partner with nature, to grow a diverse mix of food, and turn waste into healthy soil.
Blue Hill Chef Dan Barber explains the important role that culinary expertise plays in the farm-to-table movement. Stone Barns grows a diverse mix of crops appropriate for its soil and region, with a goal to make use of it all, which takes hard work, creativity and dedication. “We have to learn the genius of our place and then learn to cook with it,” he explains. “It requires a craftsmanship to use the lowly cuts of meat and lowly grains.”
Check out the trailer here:
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