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.