Category: Press Release

Doctors tell patients to Eat REAL®

March 24th, 2017 by

Leading physicians leverage REAL Certified® to help consumers identify real food

San Francisco, CA (March 22nd, 2017) – Recognizing the irrefutable connection between diet and chronic disease, the medical community is increasingly starting to advise patients on what—and where—to eat. To that end, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) and the Institute for Responsible Nutrition (IRN) announced today that they have merged their efforts to promote REAL Certified, a nutrition and sustainability trust mark for food and foodservice establishments. Within the newly combined entity, the USHFC will continue to manage the audit and certification process, and the IRN, co-founded by Dr. Jordan Shlain and Dr. Robert Lustig, will serve as the scientific advisory board.

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EatREAL Releases List of Seattle’s Healthiest Restaurants

January 26th, 2017 by

EatREAL Releases List of Seattle’s Healthiest Restaurants

The United States Healthful Food Council Releases REAL25 Seattle, the City’s Most Healthful and Sustainable Restaurants

Press Contact: Melissa Rouse, melissa@ushfc.org, 808.960.4593

Seattle, WA (January 17th, 2017) – As part of its efforts to help decrease diet-related disease, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) has released a list of Seattle’s 25 most healthful and environmentally sustainable restaurants. Also knownreal-25-logo-inner-black2xas the Seattle REAL25, the initiative is part of the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) program, and is aimed at making it easier for consumers to make better choices when dining away from home.  The USHFC has teamed up with Tasteful App to make finding good quality food easier, for tourists and locals alike.

“Even in a city like Seattle, where sustainability is at the forefront, it’s not always easy to know where to turn when looking for a nourishing food environment,” said Melissa Rouse, Public Relations Manager for the United States Healthful Food Council. “Our hope is to minimize the distance between hungry and healthy, by making the healthy choice, the easy choice.”

TWEET THIS: Explore the REAL25 – Seattle’s best options for healthy dining in and around the city #REAL25 #eatREAL @tastefulapp #staygreenemeraldcity

The REAL25 algorithm takes into account a variety of factors such as: sourcing, scratch cooking, healthy ingredients and dietary restrictions. In addition, the curated list is analyzed by a Seattle Local Advisory Board comprised of restaurateurs, chefs, nutritionists, and authors with on-the-ground experience and expertise.

The Seattle REAL25 includes (in no particular order):

  1. Tilth
  2. Bounty Kitchen
  3. Chaco Canyon
  4. Evergreens
  5. Café Flora
  6. Portage Bay Café
  7. Sweetgrass Food Co.
  8. The London Plane
  9. Juicebox
  10. Terra Plata
  11. Art of the Table
  12. The Corson Building
  13. The Walrus and the Carpenter
  14. Hitchcock
  15. Salare
  16. Ba Bar
  17. Lark
  18. Homegrown
  19. Poppy
  20. Mossback
  21. Harvest Beat
  22. Anchovies and Olives
  23. Lola
  24. Steelhead Diner
  25. Anar

In addition to being recognized on this list, each REAL25 restaurant is eligible to be audited and become REAL Certified at no cost, due to the financial support of the healthy food finding app, Tasteful. REAL25 is also sponsored by Steelite International.

*Find more information about REAL and REAL25 Seattle at the eatREAL.org website.

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About United States Healthful Food Council

Established in 2012, the USHFC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to transforming America’s food system and fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The organization has received financial support from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Park Foundation, the Mary Black Foundation, the Campbell Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. More information can be found at USHFC.org and eatREAL.org.

 

BVSD Food Services earns REAL certification from United States Healthful Food Council

December 1st, 2016 by

 

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CONTACT:

Ann Cooper, 720-561-5042, ann.cooper@bvsd.org
Melissa Rouse, United States Healthful Food Council, 808.960.4593, melissa@eatreal.org

 

View original press release here.

BOULDER, CO: After undergoing an audit to determine its level of healthful and sustainable food service practices, Boulder Valley School District recently became the first public school district in the nation to be REAL Certified by the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC). This prestigious certification is awarded to food and food service operators who stand out from others in the industry for their Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL):

RESPONSIBLE — provides nutritional benefit

EPICUREAN — preparation enhances food quality and experience

AGRICULTURAL — comes from the safest and highest food quality sources

LEADERSHIP — enables better choices

“We are honored and proud to be REAL Certified,” said Chef Ann Cooper, Director of BVSD Food Services. “The philosophy of the BVSD School Food Project is closely aligned with that of the USHFC, especially when it comes to teaching our children to eat and appreciate healthy food.”
 
The USHFC reported that BVSD excelled in the following areas:

  • Food preparation is exceptional, largely in-part because of focus on cooking in-house from scratch, use of only plant-based oils, and incorporation of healthy cooking practices.
  • Menu goes above and beyond USDA requirements – district does not offer juice in elementary schools, and only in vending machines at the middle and high schools, plus BVSD does not offer flavored milk.
  • A plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables are offered daily.

BVSD earned a particularly high score in the Leadership category – 95 percent of available points – in recognition of the following:

  • Plenty of water is available to students.
  • Healthy, vegetarian options are always available.
  • Use of sustainable trays, plates, cups, etc. is commendable.
  • Nice job participating in Meatless Mondays, having a school garden, and composting!
  • Great work offering so many nutrition programs!

(REAL Certification Scorecard and Report Summary for Boulder Valley School District, November 2016)
 
REAL Certification is a flexible, points-based metrics system. These metrics have been developed through input from a diverse panel of experts, across industry, academia, and government, as well as veteran chefs and restaurateurs. The comprehensive review process includes menu analysis, invoice and supply chain verification, interviews, and visual assessments of front and back of house operations. In order to receive certification, an establishment must meet a minimum total score of 50 percent or higher. Receiving the REAL Certification signals an organization’s commitment to fostering a healthier, more sustainable food environment for all stakeholders.
 
 
About the BVSD School Food Project
At the School Food Project, we believe that for kids to learn, think and be the best they can be, they have to eat well. Because of this, we are dedicated to improving the health of each student by providing healthy food and offering nutrition education programs to grow young bodies and minds. We serve fresh and nutritious food every day. This amounts to nearly 13,000 scratch-cooked meals each day! We use locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible, and we avoid highly processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, dyes and food additives. Salad bars are offered daily at every school and are stocked with fresh, delicious and when possible, local farm fresh produce. food.bvsd.org
 
About United States Healthful Food Council
Established in 2012, the USHFC is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit, dedicated to fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The USHFC works towards its mission through the REAL Certified holistic nutrition and sustainability certification program. REAL Certified foodservice operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). More information can be found at www.eatREAL.org.

Marist College Becomes New York State’s First REAL Certified University

November 9th, 2016 by

Washington, DC (PRUnderground) November 2nd, 2016

Download PDF here: Marist College Press Release PDF

The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that Marist College has become the first university in the state of New York to be audited and certified for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL).
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“The REAL certification is one of many accomplishments by Marist Dining Services and is a wonderful testament to our focus on wellness and sustainability,” commented Steve Sansola, Marist College Associate Dean of Student Affairs. “We take pride in our efforts to continuously enhance campus dining experiences for students, faculty and staff.”

REAL Certified is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.   USHFC’s third-party registered dieticians (RDs) utilize a points-based REAL Index to audit foodservice providers across a range of criteria. To become REAL Certified, operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). The organization has certified restaurants and corporate cafes in over 30 states, and last year the Stanford University became the first REAL Certified University.

“Since many life-long habits are formed at college, campus dining can have a major impact on the health of the student body,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. “It is good to see Marist College taking this responsibility seriously and going above and beyond to provide a food environment that promotes healthy choices.”

About Marist College Dining

Marist Dining Services by Sodexo serves students, faculty, and staff on the Hudson Valley campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. The operation oversees one dining hall serving over 4000 meals daily, six cafes through-out campus, concessions for athletic games, and catering for all campus-wide events, year-round, seven days per week. Marist Dining prides itself in its commitment to local and sustainable sourcing and has also received national recognition for innovative recipes and resident dining special events.

About United States Healthful Food Council

Established in 2012, the USHFC is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit, dedicated to fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The USHFC works towards its mission through the REAL Certified holistic nutrition and sustainability certification program. REAL Certified foodservice operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). More information can be found at eatREAL.org.

Sacred Heart University Becomes the First REAL Certified College Campus in CT

October 6th, 2016 by

Washington, DC (September 27th, 2016)

The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that Sacred Heart University has become the first higher-education provider in the state of Connecticut to be audited and certified for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL).

“The food environment has a tremendous influence on dietary habits and health, which is especially critical during the formative college years when many lifelong habits are formed,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. “It’s inspiring to see universities such as Sacred Heart doing their part to shift the American diet towards a more healthful and sustainable model for generations to come.”sacred_heart_university-svg

REAL Certified is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. USHFC’s third-party registered dieticians (RDs) utilize a points-based REAL Index to audit foodservice providers across a range of criteria. To become REAL Certified, operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). The organization has certified restaurants and corporate cafes in over 30 states, and, last year, Stanford University became the first REAL Certified University.

James Barquinero, Senior Vice President of Enrollment, Student Affairs & Athletics describes SHU Dining and Chartwells as “Student-focused first and foremost. Highly responsive to the client’s needs and expectations for great food quality and service.  Overall, a dedicated commitment to excellence.”

 

About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

Chartwells (SHU Dining) is the recognized leader in contract foodservice management, hospitality, and award-winning guest service within 270 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells’ new brand mantra, “Where Hungry Minds Gather,” signifies its commitment to reinventing the dining experience for the next generation of students and beyond. Their nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit Chartwells’ websites at www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com,www.DineonCampus.com, or call toll-free at 1-855-9-Gather (855-942-8437).

About United States Healthful Food Council

Established in 2012, the USHFC is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit, dedicated to fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The USHFC works towards its mission through the REAL Certified holistic nutrition and sustainability certification program. REAL Certified foodservice operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). More information can be found at eatREAL.org.

Tennessee Tech Becomes the First REAL Certified Campus in the State

May 12th, 2016 by

Originally posted on Digital Journal

The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that Tennessee Technological University has become the first university in the state and is the third nationwide, to be audited and certified for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL). REAL Certified is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. The program is part of a larger “Eat REAL Tennessee” initiative, which has been expanding with the support of the Tennessee Department of Health in an effort to reduce diabetes, obesity and other diet-related disease.

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Tasteful and REAL Certified Join Forces to Help Consumers Identify Top Healthy Restaurants

February 26th, 2016 by

Available on Market Wired

Healthy Lifestyle Companies Partner to Create the REAL 25, a List of Top 25 Restaurants in Major Cities That Provide Real, Quality Food

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 24, 2016) – Healthy restaurant finder app, Tasteful, today announced that it is partnering with the foodservice certification program REAL Certified to promote the REAL 25, a list of the top 25 healthy restaurants for major cities across America. The program will be launched in Austin, Texas next month at the annual South by Southwest festival and conference. Tasteful is working with REAL Certified’s parent, the nonprofit United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC), to recognize restaurants that use whole ingredients that have been minimally processed or refined. Both organizations are committed to ensuring that the restaurant industry recognizes and capitalizes on the movement toward holistic nutrition and the use of “real food.”

TWEET THIS: Introducing the #REAL25: lists of top #realfood restaurants in America by @tastefulapp and @USHFC #healthyeating #sustainablefood
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UC Davis becomes second university to be REAL Certified

January 28th, 2016 by

Original Article on University Business

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that the University of California, Davis, has become only the second university in the nation to be audited and certified for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL).

“UC Davis recognizes the critical link between food, health and the environment, not only for our students, but for the world’s growing population,” said Emily Galindo, executive director of Student Housing and associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs. “We decided to become REAL Certified because we want to raise the bar for school foodservice everywhere.”

REAL Certified is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. USHFC’s third-party registered dieticians (RDs) utilize a points-based REAL Index to audit foodservice providers across a range of criteria. To become REAL Certified, operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). The organization has certified restaurants and corporate cafes in over 30 states, and last year the Stanford University became the first REAL Certified University.

“For a lot of students, it can be extremely difficult to eat healthfully in the typical college environment,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. “It is great to see that UC Davis is helping lead efforts for nutrition and sustainable operations on college campuses.”

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About the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC): Established in 2011, the USHFC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to transforming America’s food system and fighting diet-related disease by realigning the food industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. The organization has received financial support from the Tennessee Department of Health, the Park Foundation, the Mary Black Foundation, the Campbell Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President’s Grant Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. More information can be found at USHFC.org and REALCertified.org.

About UC Davis Dining Services: UC Davis Dining Services — which serves 55,000 meals weekly across its retail and residential dining facilities — is widely recognized for its sustainability. It features produce grown on the campus’s own Student Farm, and the residential dining facilities are LEED Platinum certified. Dining Services helped the campus win the 2015 Energy & Sustainability Best Practice Award from the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.

Sweet Potato + Kale Pesto Bites

September 4th, 2015 by

Original article posted on Mind Body Green

Written by Mikaela Reuben, advisor to the United States Healthful Food Council

Not often thought of as a healthy food, sweet potatoes are actually packed with nutrients; when prepared correctly, they offer all sorts of great benefits. These orange-fleshed tubers are rich in antioxidants, may actually help control blood sugar levels and are particularly high in Vitamin A.

In this example, a kale basil pesto is served on top of baked sweet potato rounds, offering lots of nutrients, fiber and great flavor. Made with whole healthy ingredients, the bites are a uniquely tasty dish that can be an exciting change from the traditional holiday favorites. This dish is a great first step toward eating real for the holidays!

Sweet Potato + Kale Pesto Bites

Makes approximately 10-13 bites

Ingredients
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Stanford University is Nation’s First REAL Certified Campus Dining Program

July 15th, 2015 by

Download PDF of Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Eleni Papadopoulos, 704-281-8484, eleni@ushfc.org
Shannon Munz, 650-721-4373, smunz@stanford.edu

Washington, DC (July 15, 2015) – The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced today that Stanford University has become the nation’s first campus dining program to be REAL Certified for its use of nutrition and sustainability best practices. Modeled after the LEED® green building program, Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certified is the trusted, nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.
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