Listening this morning to Chef Dan Barber being interviewed on NPR's "OnBeing," I felt that my earlier blog about marketing and authenticity was being echoed by a truly unexpected source.
Barber runs a restaurant and farm in upstate New York and has written extensively about sustainability from a chef's perspective. In speaking with the "OnBeing" host, Krista Tippett, he pointed out a compelling symbiosis between sound growing practices and pure, unadulterated eating pleasure.
"Great flavor," Barber observed, is "attached to great ecology by definition. ... You can’t have an unethically raised lamb, an unthoughtfully raised carrot, and have a delicious lamb and carrot. It’s impossible. Even the greatest chefs couldn’t do that.”
Barber later added: "When you are greedy for the best food, you are by definition being greedy for ... the kind of world that you want used in the proper way. That’s the true definition of sustainability."
To me, this represents a direct parallel to the idea of "good behavior" as "good marketing." People come back to a product that treats them well, that they relate to as humans rather than "consumers."
Treating people with respect is good marketing ... Yes, it's a very big "duh" -- but how often do we forget to act on this knowledge?
Similarly, Barber observes that treating the earth with respect is also the best way to create delicious food. All of those "cut corners" are not about great taste -- they are about producing more while spending less.
Call it a better marketing ecosystem ... Sustainable messaging ... Ethical engagement.
Or, just call it good business.
You can listen to the Dan Barber interview here: www.onbeing.org.