Our chefs work closely with local food systems to source our food responsibly. By sourcing seasonal ingredients and products produced with integrity, we can sustain responsible partners. To us, sustainable food means ingredients that are 3rd party certified as sustainably produced and ingredients that are sourced from local and community based vendors.
Our team is passionate about incorporating local, seasonal ingredients into menus as much as possible. Harvest Table has implemented a preferential purchasing system that identifies food grown or produced within 150 miles, and its sustainable attributes. Local produce is harvested closest to its peak for a fresher, more flavorful nutrient-filled result. Not only do local foods tend to be fresher, local purchasing reduces transportation carbon emissions and invests money into community-based operations. Look for locally grown signage to taste the best flavors our area has to offer, celebrate the season selections, and support the local efforts of our community!
Plant-based foods (vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc) are proven to have a lower environmental impact than resource intensive animal products. With continuous recipe development for vibrant and unique plant-based options, we provide diverse, complete-protein vegan dining options at all meals.
Our livestock farmers and ranchers share our high standards for humane animal treatment and environmental sustainability. We source beef, pork, chicken, and turkey from farms that use regenerative agriculture principles, and certified animal welfare practices. All meats are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and are fed vegetarian diets.
We serve pork certified as Global Animal Partnership Step 1, meaning pigs are free to roam and interact with each other, and free of gestation crates.
We serve chicken and turkey that are Certified Humane, which ensures poultry are hatched, raised, transported, and processed following animal welfare standards. Our chicken and turkey are raised naturally with access to enriched, uncrowded indoor/outdoor nesting, and self-regulated eating and drinking schedules.
We serve cage free eggs from hens in enriched colony housing, which allows natural behaviors like nesting, perching, scratching, and socializing.
Committing to Cool Food means reducing our greenhouse gas emissions associated with food purchasing by at least 25% by 2030. Cool Food Meals have a carbon footprint that falls below an established per-meal threshold that meals should meet by 2030. Harvest Table at UVA is working with the World Resource Institute to implement the Cool Food Meal badge on our menus to highlight these climate friendly dishes for discerning diners.
Sustainable practices extend to our facility, where our team members work to ensure that our daily operations contribute to a healthy environment.
The Table at Runk is 3 Star Green Restaurant Certified®, meeting rigorous standards in categories such as water efficiency, waste reduction, sustainable food sourcing, and pollution reduction.
The most important step to food waste prevention happens before our ingredients even reach our kitchens: planning to match food production to food consumption. Our teams track ingredient consumption and use daily, creating more efficient and informed menu forecasting.
In The Table at Runk, 100% of our cooking oil that is no longer food safe is recycled into biodiesel.
By eliminating trays in The Table at Runk, we conserve water and energy used in dishwashing, as well as reduce consumer food waste.
Through reusable, compostable, and recyclable materials, our teams strive to reduce waste in all forms.
Reusable to go containers are available for Runk Dining Hall. Simply return your container for a new, clean container, or get a voucher to use a reusable container in the future!
We compost all pre and post-consumer food waste from our dining kitchen. By diverting our food waste to compost, we decrease our landfill footprint and contribute to nutrient rich soil in Virginia.
For times when reusables aren’t available, we provide 100% compostable silverware, cups, lids, and napkins.
We recycle pre-consumer plastic, paper, cardboard, and aluminum, and provide post-consumer recyclable options when compostable aren’t available.