By Bianca N. Herron, Digital Editor

A nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting diet-related disease has certified Stanford University as meeting its Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) criteria.  No other college has yet earned the certification from the United States Healthful Food Council.

“Stanford is helping set new standards for higher education foodservice by offering an abundance of plant-based meals and utilizing food from many local and sustainable sources,” said Lawrence Williams, CEO of USHFC, in a statement.

In order to become REAL certified, operators must complete requirements and earn sufficient points in the areas of Responsible (nutrition), Epicurean (preparation), Agricultural (sourcing) and Leadership (going above and beyond). Since its founding in 2011, the organization has certified college dining services, restaurants, and corporate cafes in 28 states.