The Nature Conservancy is asking foodies across the Finger Lakes to nominate their favorite green restaurants for Nature’s Plate, a contest to name the people’s choice for each area’s top green restaurant.
Whether you're a vegetarian, vegan or a meat-eater, it's a good bet the healthiest and tastiest food on your table came from nature. From maple syrup produced in local forests to grapes soaking up the sun at a vineyard down the road, healthy food demands a healthy planet.
That's why The Nature Conservancy is working with food producers everywhere and bringing together traditionally unexpected partners to find solutions that are good for their businesses, for consumers and for nature.
“With so many people who care about nature and food in the Finger Lakes, we’re excited to help raise awareness of how bite-sized actions can make a big difference for people and the planet,” said Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy’s Central and Western New York director.
“The Finger Lakes is a destination for four million food and wine tourists a year. From apple festivals to community fish frys to grape-growing, we owe many of our culinary traditions to our unique lands, waters and climate.”
To sustain this bounty, The Nature Conservancy is working with partners across the region to ensure that the lands, waters and natural processes that generate food and water are preserved and restored. This work is innovative and pragmatic, but it can also be delicious, says Howe.
“Protecting land around Hemlock, Canadice and Skaneateles lakes has meant more places to hike, but it has also meant abundant clean water for the people of Rochester and Syracuse. And working to slow the spread of invasive species in Finger Lakes waterways helps native species but it also supports regional food traditions like fishing for lake trout.”
The Conservancy is also working on projects across the state including clam restoration on Long Island, and a new statewide program called Water for Tomorrow that aims to reform the way fresh water is managed in New York State and ensure its availability for critical uses, including farming.
Now you can make a difference, too, by nominating your favorite green restaurant in the Finger Lakes for a Nature's Plate award. Wondering which restaurants to vote for? Consider eateries that are using sustainable seafood, free-range and grass-fed meat, organic produce, locally sourced food, and tap water (rather than bottled water).
While the contest is focused on restaurants, it’s only the start of a conversation about food, conservation and The Nature Conservancy’s work with farmers, fishermen and ranchers. To participate, select “New York” and then nominate your favorite green restaurant in the Finger Lakes. You can also learn more about what makes a restaurant green.
Nominations will be open September 3-16, semifinal voting will begin October 1, and the winners will be announced October 17.
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 www.nature.org.