“Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.”

Francis Moore Lapé

Winter is almost here! As we ramp up for the holidays, we have exciting news and new projects to share.

Read on for more updates!

Our REAL Values: Leadership

Throughout the year we’ve highlighted many people and establishments who have made great strides towards a more healthful and sustainable food system.

We broke down blockchain, made sense of labeling and welfare certifications, and highlighted many REAL establishments for their hard work and dedication to providing REAL food. We have seen communities in Tennessee come together to combat diet-related disease through updated standards and healthier meals. An incredible number of certified restaurants worked through the REAL process to achieve certification at the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. At the end of 2018, we have over 2.2 million REAL Certified meals being served each week!

As the year comes to a close we are proud to look back at the progress that has been made. We would like to thank you all for your continued support of Eat REAL and our mission, and look forward to continuing to drive REAL, positive change in our food system!

Certification Highlights:

Solomon’s Delicatessen

Davis, CA

Solomon’s Delicatessenbecame the first REAL Certified Jewish Deli last month. With a new approach to nostalgic classics using original recipes and locally sourced ingredients, Solomon’s joins the growing community of REAL food leaders! Congratulations on becoming REAL Certified, and thank you for all of the incredible things that you do!

Read the official press release here.

The Captain’s Table and Crockett Mills

Pickwick Landing and David Crockett State Parks have become the second and third Tennessee State Parks to achieve REAL Certification. A strong focus on organic and healthy options and food waste programs to limit environmental impact are just a couple of practices that set them apart as leaders in food service. 
Congratulations on becoming REAL Certified, and thank you for all of the incredible things that you do!

Read the official press release here.

Are you ready to be recognized as a leader in food? Submit your restaurant or food business below to learn more about becoming REAL Certified!

Get Certified!

Eat REAL Tennessee

Congratulations Nikkole!

We at Eat REAL are proud to share that our own Nikkole Turner was recognized by Nourish Knoxville for her work in the community.

Read the full article below:

Dining out is challenging if you care about eating healthy, locally, and consciously. Restaurants can claim they source locally or cook from scratch without any real oversight. Is that tomato soup really just Campbells? 🤷‍♀️ Organizations like Eat REAL Tennessee and our #localfoodhero Nikkole Turner want to change that.

Nikkole grew up on a farm, 40 minutes from the nearest fast food joint. She gardened, cared for animals, and was involved in FFA. She eventually moved to the big city and worked a desk job. She knew it wasn’t working out when her employer asked her to solicit a fast food sponsor. She couldn’t compromise her values, and fortunately for us, was hired by Eat REAL Tennessee

Eat REAL Tennessee certifies foodservice businesses on their commitment to healthful, sustainable menu options. Registered Dietitians survey restaurants on a point-based system using the following categories
RESPONSIBLE: menu boasts whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
EPICUREAN: kitchen cooks from scratch with single ingredients
AGRICULTURE: produce and animal products are sourced with location and sustainability in mind
LEADERSHIP: healthy children’s menu options and environmental sustainability.

Eat Real Tennessee exists in partnership with the State of Tennessee Department of Health. They certify restaurants, state parks, colleges, and even the Knox County Mobile Meals. Nikkole hopes more schools, hospitals, and universities become certified. If you’re interested in learning more about Eat Real restaurants or becoming certified, visit https://eatreal.org/tennessee/

Health and Nutrition

REAL Food in Schools Collaborative
-Kristin Zellhart, Nutrition, Standards and Certification Manager

In March of 2018, Eat REAL received a collaborative grant from the San Francisco Battery Club to partner with Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) and Life Lab, a garden education non-profit, to support their efforts to educate and provide 32,000 students access to REAL Food.

The Eat REAL team will be taking MDUSD through a pilot of new K-12 program standards in the winter term and will be consulting with the collaborative on the nutrition & culinary education programs to align with the standards of the Eat REAL Certification. This pilot is laying the groundwork to expand the K-12 Certification to additional school districts, learning best practices that can be shared with leaders across the K-12 space.

Having school districts undergo REAL Certification showcases how they are leaders in building transparency and their ability to raise the bar above the National School Lunch Program Standards. These foodservice programs will work to increase the quality of food served with an emphasis on whole, minimally processed foods that are sustainably sourced. The certification will also provide a set of metrics-based standards that help Food Service Directors assess their department and measure progress as they make changes.

To learn more about the collaborative as visit:

Everyday Lentil Soup

Stay warm this winter with this hearty one-pot Lentil Soup from the Minimalist Baker. 

Try it out and share your creation with us on Instagram by tagging @eatrealcertified!

Know Your Food!

Eat REAL exists to bring transparency to our food system. We started by setting out to answer one question, “What is Real food?”

What are some of the questions you have about the food you eat? Help us show the importance of knowing your food by sending them to us!

1) Write your question down with “Know Your Food” at the bottom. 
2) Take a photo holding your sign and post it to Instagram with the tags 
#KnowYourFood #EATREALand tag @eatrealcertified
3) Tag your friends asking them to do the same!

Together we can drive REAL change towards a healthier, more transparent food system!

All year long, the team at Eat REAL is passionately dedicated to transforming our food system for the better. We need your help to continue our mission and make REAL food more accessible to all communities!
Thank you.

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