What is REAL Certification?
The USHFC developed Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certification to be the trusted, nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.
The goal of REAL Certification is to affect change in the food and foodservice industries by providing market-based incentives to increase the profitability of more healthful and sustainable food and beverage. Voluntary, third party certification programs like LEED, B Corporations, Non-GMO Project, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance have proven to be an effective way to leverage the power and efficiency of the marketplace for social impact. And similar to LEED, the REAL mark is quickly emerging as the beacon for consumers seeking healthful and sustainable food.
Modeled after the LEED standard, REAL Certification utilizes a flexible, point-based system that is implemented with the assistance of independent, third party registered dietitians (RDs). The comprehensive review process includes menu analysis, invoice and supply chain verification, interviews, and visual assessments of front and back of house operations (initially through photo/video review and then in-person, if applicable).
Based on the input of a diverse Panel of Experts from industry, academia, and government, as well as veteran chefs and restaurateurs, REAL Certification recognizes food and foodservice operators that:
About Eat REAL:
The Eat REAL consumer engagement program provides resources to inform consumers on nutrition and sustainability, as well as connect themwith REAL Certified food and foodservice operators. Through eatreal.org, community-based activities, on-line resources and social media platforms, the USHFC aims to maximize public awareness on the benefits of healthful and sustainable food and beverage.
REAL Certification is a program of the United States Healthful Food Council
- Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab