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."