Chef Dan Barber: Why Plant Breeders Matter

Our favorite part of this Driven by Flavor interview with Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns starts around the 44 minute mark. Building community-based organic seed systems takes advocates of all ilks, which is why we are excited to hear a prominent chef talking about the important role plant breeders play in enhancing flavor and nutrition, as well as re-localizing our food system. Dan Barber shares:

“One of the things that’s been overlooked in the [food] issue is breeders…I’m not talkingĀ  about genetically modifying seeds…I’m talking about old school breeders.”

“These breeders…and they are largely retiring…are the ones who have a vault of information that I think is going to be so important as we transition away from the conventional mindset of agriculture and into this more regional look at agriculture which is going to rely on these seeds that can withstand the challenges of growing locally and in a diverse system.”

“What [breeders] say to me over and over again is no one’s ever asked me about flavor. No one asks me about flavor. They always ask me about yield and disease resistance…All we have to do is select for flavor.”

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