Will Restaurants Bite on a LEED-Type Ratings System for Food?

Can a new food ratings system do for public health what LEED has done for green buildings? Claire Moloney discusses the certification program being launched by the USHFC that aims to recognize restaurants who use nutrition best practices.
Modeled on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program, the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) certification program being launched by the United States Healthful Food Council will establish a points-based rating system for restaurants, caterers, and food service operators. According to Moloney, "The program will award points to restaurants who use nutrition best practices, such as organic and local foods, restricted dietary offerings, fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range meats, and moderate or multiple portion sizes."

"Just as LEED certified buildings increase property values," writes Moloney, "the REAL program is designed to attract new business to restaurants with healthy, nutritious menus. Like LEED, REAL certified restaurants will be given certification seals to display in their windows. Plus, the REAL program will partner with restaurant websites, such as Yelp, Zagat, and OpenTable to promote REAL certified food service operations."

Full Story: LEED for Food?: REAL Nutrition Rating System Modeled After Green Building Certification


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