The Plate

Founding Farmers: Carbon Neutral and Mighty Delicious

By Sumner Byrne, GWU Student

Do you know where your favorite restaurant’s ingredients come from? Probably not, right?

The award-laden Founding Farmers of Washington, D.C. thinks that’s a problem. They buy almost all their ingredients from sustainable local farms, but that’s certainly not all they do to create the ultimate dining experience. They’ve taken this idea several steps further to become completely “carbon neutral.” Calling all foodies of the District: this is an experience you simply can’t miss out on.

Restaurants are the retail world’s largest energy user, with 3,792 full-service restaurants in Washington, D.C. alone. Founding Farmers has managed carbon neutrality through some pretty creative feats, and if D.C.’s other restaurants followed their lead, they could reduce about 1,132,000 cars’ worth of carbon from the atmosphere each year: that’s more than twice the population of D.C.!

The best chefs agree: local food just tastes better, and businesses are finally catching on. But this trailblazer is leading the pack towards a whole new type of restaurant.

Sumner Byrne is a senior at The George Washington University majoring in French and Communication with a minor in Sustainability.

This story is from our Planet Forward Campus Voices program—an opportunity for students to celebrate and explore our complex relationship with what we eat and where our food comes from.