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.
“Working with Tennessee Tech Dining and Teresa Hall R.D.,L.D.N. has been a wonderful experience,” said Nikkole Turner, Eat REAL Tennessee project manager for the USHFC. “The TTU Dining, or the ‘Caf’ as the students call it, has worked with Eat REAL Tennessee to implement changes such as: full servings of fruits and vegetables at the grill station and whole wheat pasta options every day. The students that I have spoken to are proud that TTU is the first in the State to achieve REAL Certified recognition.”
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).
“Healthy, Sustainable and Fresh – Eat REAL- Eat the Right Way. Tennessee Tech University and Chartwells share these goals and standards, which is why the REAL Certification is a perfect fit,” says Sam Holm, Director of Dining Services at TTU. “Students are the reason we are here. Whether feeding students bodies to perform in athletics or feeding students minds to maximize their education, offering safe, nutritious foods is how we help students reach their goals.”
About Tennessee Technological University
TN Tech, under management by Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, proudly provides a health-and-wellness focused food environment for University students and staff. Their “Ask A Dietician,” live chat program is one of the more remarkable components of their offerings, but their commitment to student wellness can be seen across the board. Per the Chartwells initiative, TN Tech aims to “nourish the bodies, minds and sprits of [their] students and pave the way for a lifetime of success and well-being.” * TN Tech expands upon this through their CORE4 Sustainability Platform, which embassies local sourcing, sustainable seafood, Certified Humane eggs, antibiotic-free produce, rBGH free dairy products and responsibly sourced coffee. In addition, their waste reduction and renewable packaging initiatives mark them as a leader in the University Dining sector. For more information, please visit www.dineoncampus.com/ttu or www.chartwellsschools.com.
*From the Chartwells mission statement.
About United States Healthful Food Council
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.