Founding Farmers Wins 2012 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award for Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C. | July 26, 2012

The foodies of D.C. have spoken, and the most popular “green” restaurant in the city this year is Founding Farmers. After two rounds of online and mobile voting, the 2012 People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award came to a close with Founding Farmers reigning supreme in the D.C. metro area.

In order to receive this honor, Founding Farmers beat out three local eateries that have connections and commitments to sustainability and green practices: Busboys and Poets, Restaurant Nora, and Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as the first People's Choice Nature's Plate Award Winner for Washington, D.C.," said Dan Simons, concept developer and managing principal of Founding Farmers. "What's more valuable to us is that our guests appreciate our beliefs and our dedication to sustainability, and for that, we are very grateful.”

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. The practices of Founding Farmers are above and beyond these criteria, however. The restaurant not only uses local ingredients in the kitchen to inspire its menus, but also it is the city’s first LEED Gold certified restaurant, a designation from the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes a building’s high performance in water savings and energy efficiency, among other factors.

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.

“Food is one of the most personal ways we connect with nature. Support your local restaurants that offer sustainably caught seafood and locally harvested fruits and vegetables,” said Nat Williams, director for the Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. “You can boost the local economy, enjoy a great meal and help the planet.”

In addition to Washington, D.C., this local contest was presented by Conservancy chapters in California (Los Angeles/San Francisco), Virginia (Richmond), New York (NYC), New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Florida (Miami), Washington (Seattle) and Colorado (Denver/Boulder).

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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Tom McCann

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