The foodies of Charlottesville have spoken, and the most popular "green" restaurant in the city this year is Beer Run. After two rounds of online and mobile voting, The Nature Conservancy's 2013 People's Choice Nature's Plate Award came to a close with Beer Run clearly leading in Charlottesville.
"Beer Run is absolutely elated and honored to receive the Nature Conservancy's People's Choice 2013 Nature's Plate Award," said Joshua Hunt, Beer Run co-owner. "We believe in serving local, sustainable and organic foods because we understand that doing so supports the environment, both personal and public health, our community, family farms, and animal welfare. It also tastes better! We congratulate all of the other wonderful restaurants in town who were nominated, and thank everyone who voted. It is humbling to live in a city like Charlottesville with so many progressive chefs, operators and patrons that truly value sustainability and support it through their daily actions."
The rules of the contest specified that each nominated restaurant must use sustainably harvested seafood, sustainably raised meat and/or local produce in order to qualify as a truly green restaurant. Beer Run's menu changes monthly, with a focus on all-natural, organic and local ingredients. This family-friendly restaurant sources many of its ingredients from family-run farms throughout central Virginia.
Recent trends show a continued shift toward sourcing local foods and using more sustainable practices for farming and fishing. Nature's Plate highlighted restaurants that are leading and supporting this trend. While the contest focused on restaurants, it was only the start of a conversation about food, conservation and the Conservancy's work with farmers, fishermen and ranchers.
"These restaurants, which offer locally grown and harvested fruits, vegetables and meats, are helping us connect with nature," said Michael Lipford, Virginia executive director for The Nature Conservancy. "And when you support them, you're not just enjoying a great meal, but boosting the local economy and helping the planet."
In addition to Charlottesville, this local contest was presented by Conservancy chapters in 23 other cities across the country, including Washington, D.C.
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