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Washington, DC, United States, 2012/12/18 - The Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) certification program is an initiative launched by the USHFC to connect people who want to consume healthful and sustainable food and beverages with restaurants and foodservice operators.
The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) will be ringing in the New Year with the launch of their Eat REAL™ DC campaign in Washington, DC. The Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL™) certification program is an initiative launched by the USHFC to connect people who want to consume healthful and sustainable food and beverages with restaurants and foodservice operators that provide them.
“For many individuals and families, eating out has become a way of life”, states USHFC President Lawrence Williams. “As businesses prepare a progressively larger share of the calories we consume, it becomes increasingly critical that we ensure that serving healthful and sustainable food is profitable.”
Utilizing a voluntary, points-based, market-drive approach similar to LEED®, REAL provides third-party verification of nutrition and environmental industry best practices. The REAL Index was developed by an independent, national Panel of Experts with the objective of making REAL the nationally recognized mark of excellence for restaurants and foodservice operators committed to nutrition sustainability.
The REAL certification will begin rolling out in select locations across the United States, starting citywide in Washington, DC early next year. “Washington is not only our nation’s capital, but it’s quickly becoming known for its culinary excellence and rapidly bourgeoning restaurant scene” according to Chris Stemp, USHFC Marketing Director. “Unfortunately, Washington also has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity and other food-related disease, which is why we have focused on Washington, DC for our launch.”
Consumers will soon have the ability to search for certified restaurants via the Eat REAL website and eventually through other popular restaurant reservation and review websites. By helping diners make better-informed decisions, consumers will reap direct health benefits and will be better educated about what they are eating and where it came from.
“The REAL Certification not only offers a huge advantage to consumers, but also benefits restaurants as well,” according to Williams. “The mission of the USHFC is to make serving healthful and sustainable food and beverages more profitable, and ultimately more affordable and accessible.”
About United States Healthful Food Council, Inc. (USHFC).
Established in 2011, the United States Healthful Food Council, Inc. (USHFC.org | Eat-REAL.org) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the health of Americans by awarding and providing incentives, programs, and tools to restaurants and the contract foodservice industry. The USHFC works towards its mission through REAL™ certification, the nation’s only comprehensive and consensus-based holistic nutrition and sustainability rating program. REAL is a trademark of the USHFC.