October 8, 2013
By: Abbey Slitor
On April 2013, the United States Healthful Food Council launched their pilot program in Washington, DC with the REAL Certification of 16 wildly popular restaurants that included Ris, Founding Farmers, and Busboys & Poets. Today, USHFC announced that it has almost doubled the number of REAL Certified restaurants in and around Washington, DC, including the first certified food truck and catering company
“It’s been heartening to see so many chefs and restaurants not only enthusiastically open their kitchens to a voluntary nutrition and sustainability audit, but also seek and embrace our recommendations for improvement,” said Lawrence Williams, USHFC President and CEO. “Now that we have validated the model and grown our team, we’re ready to expand and deliver the benefits of REAL Certification to consumers and industry throughout the country.”
The Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) program assesses and certifies foodservice businesses based on their use of nutrition and sustainability best practices, and serves as a beacon for consumers seeking healthier options. Unlike most other healthy eating programs that focus on negative habits, the “Eat REALTM” campaign focuses on increasing the consumption of healthful and sustainable food and beverages. Like the building industry’s LEED® certification, USHFC’s REAL Certification provides third-party verification of nutrition and sustainability best practices, and is designed to serve as a nationally recognized mark of excellence for the food industry.
Developed in collaboration with an independent panel of experts, REAL Certification evaluates a foodservice establishment’s use of vegetables and fruits, use of processed foods, methods of preparation, portion sizes, sourcing from local and organic vendors, and leadership in utilizing best practices such as cage-free eggs and grass-fed beef.
The most recent list of restaurants that have completed the REAL Certification include:
8407 Kitchen Bar – Silver Spring, MD
Brasserie Beck – Washington, DC
Brasserie Monte Carlo – Bethesda, MD
Dino – Washington, DC
Healthy Bites – Washington, DC
Meridian Pint – Washington, DC
Ricciuti’s – Olney, MD
Rice – Washington, DC
Root & Stem Café – Falls Church, VA
Rito Loco – The first REAL Certified food truck.
Root & Stem Catering Company – The first REAL Certified catering company.