Stonyfield was excited to have an opportunity to catch up with Daniel Klein of The Perennial Plate to learn more about what he’s doing to help people get to know their food. Here’s what he told us.
What is the Perennial Plate all about?
The Perennial Plate is about providing open minded, informative and entertaining stories that will inspire and challenge people to think about their food. We aren’t out to change anyone’s mind, just to grow the conversation around alternatives to our current food system. As a chef and a filmmaker, I’m always wanting to learn and the series is about bringing the viewer on that same path.
What’s been your biggest surprise so far?
The show started out being mostly about food, but as it progresses it becomes more about people and America. The project in itself is always trying to straddle the links between food, activism and storytelling. Because of the way we film (we create the episodes entirely in the editing room, nothing is planned), we end up taking whatever is best from each shoot, and that usually ends up being about who people are and why they do what they do. The surprise comes in how much people are willing to share about their lives and how the people who have the least on camera experience usually end up being the best.
Why is it so important to you to help people get to know more about the food they eat?
I think that the current food system in this country is broken. People are sick, there are fewer and fewer farmers and those that are still around have trouble making money, much of the food in the grocery stores is lacking flavor and of course we are doing a number on the environment. So things have to change. And the first step in making change is looking at your own choices. I think people will make good choices if they know more about their food.
There is a lot of information out there about the negatives of factory farming and processed foods. That information impacts many people to make different choices, but doom and gloom doesn’t work for everyone. I, for one, would rather be inspired or challenged into making different choices. When people are scared after reading an article, the change is short term, but if people are excited about a different way of eating, they become part of a movement and make changes not as a chore, but with heart.
Click here to watch one of Daniel’s favorite episodes from the Perennial Plate series: The Cows and the Horses.
Then share your answer to Daniel’s question:
What is your biggest challenge in making decisions about what to eat?
The Perennial Plate is an online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating. The episodes follow the culinary, agricultural and hunting explorations of chef and activist, Daniel Klein. Season One took place over a calendar year in Minnesota where every Monday for 52 weeks, Klein and cameragirl Mirra Fine released short films about good food. In Season Two, Klein and Fine are traveling across America, taking the viewer on a journey to appreciate and understand where good food comes from and how to enjoy it. www.theperennialplate.com