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First “REAL Certified” foodservice establishments announced in Knoxville

real certified restaurants

Through a partnership between the Tennessee Department of Health and the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC), Eat REAL™ Tennessee has announced the first REAL Certified establishments in Knoxville. Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) is a growing national program that helps combat diet-related disease by recognizing foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.

Knoxville’s inaugural class of REAL Certified foodservice establishments can be found throughout the city/ region and include: Bistro at the Bijou, Blackberry Farm, Farm-to-Griddle Crepes, Juice Bar (Bearden), Juice Bar (Market Square), Juice Bar (Turkey Creek), Knox Mason, Northshore Brasserie, Paleo Foods Café, The Plaid Apron, Sunspot, Tomato Head (Market Square), Tomato Head (The Gallery) and Whole Earth Grocery & Café in Gatlinburg.

“We are proud to officially certify these Knoxville food establishments that are helping shift the local dining environment to be more healthful,” said Eat REAL Tennessee Project Manager Nikkole Turner. “This program recognizes and identifies restaurants that provide holistic cuisine using transparent and sustainable sourcing practices.”

Eat REAL Tennessee is a statewide initiative supported through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health as part of an innovative approach to preventing diabetes and obesity across the state. The program also serves as a community outreach platform, engaging and educating the public on nutrition and healthy dietary choices.

Utilizing the points-based REAL Index, independent registered dietitians conduct an assessment of menu offerings and overall nutrition and sustainability practices. Establishments are credited with points across a range of criteria 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 and recognized as REAL Certified.

All REAL Certified establishments are featured on and promoted through the USHFC’s local partners to help identify “better for you” dining options.

The newly certified Knoxville establishments mark an expansion of REAL Certified, which launched with a restaurant campaign in Washington, DC, three years ago and has since grown to include restaurants, workplace dining facilities and public venues in 28 states.

Published July 5, 2016

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