Today, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC), is launching Eat REAL New York to help reverse these trends. Established in 2011, the USHFC is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to fighting diet-related disease by realigning the foodservice industry’s incentives with consumers’ health interests. Americans are consuming more meals prepared away from home than ever before and market trends in the foodservice industry have created a competitive environment based on serving what is profitable, not what is healthful. The USHFC works towards its mission through the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certification, a market-based incentive that recognizes food and foodservice establishments for utilizing nutrition and sustainability best practices.
Utilizing the points-based REAL Index, independent registered dietitians conduct a comprehensive establishment review that includes menu analysis, invoice and supply chain verification, and interviews. Establishments are credited with points across a range of best practices such as the use of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy preparation methods, moderate portion sizes, unsweetened beverages, healthy children’s options and sustainable sourcing. Those that satisfy the necessary requirements are awarded REAL Certification.
This morning, the USHFC launched Eat REAL New York at the historic James Beard House preceding tonight's James Beard Foundation Awards. The inaugural class of New York restaurants includes: ‘wichcraft, ICI, Locanda Vini e Olii, Bareburger, Rose Water Restaurant, Rusty Mackerel, Insurgo Project, and the Friday Night Dinner at Natural Gourmet Institute.
These restaurants are not the USHFC’s only connection to New York. At last month’s inaugural REAL Food Innovator Awards, which celebrate leaders in nutrition and sustainability, the USHFC recognized former Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a REAL Food Innovator amongst government officials and NYU’s Dr. Marion Nestle as the REAL Food Innovator of the Year.
In her keynote address, Dr. Nestle applauded the USHFC’s ability to help the foodservice industry align the food they make and serve with the health and nutritional needs of the public. Among other successes, USHFC has helped a DC food truck substantially increase sales of its healthier offerings and is working with the State of Tennessee to lower the rates of diabetes and obesity.
The USHFC looks forward to similar successes in New York and contributing to the health of the city and its businesses.
To learn more, please visit www.ushfc.org or www.eatREAL.org.