Label identifies ‘responsible’ food

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A new food label can help to give consumers an insight into the producers of the foods that they eat, such as how humane their operations are. The nonprofit United States Healthful Food Council launched a REAL (“responsible epicurean and agricultural leadership”) certification program that is intended to be used by restaurants and food-service providers. 

Caesare Assad, who is the chief operating officer at Eat REAL, says the goal of the certification is to increase transparency of food sourcing and production in “an environment of misinformation.”

In May 2017, the organization said nearly 500 restaurants and food-service providers in 32 states were REAL-certified. It hopes to certify an additional 200 by the end of 2017. Consumers will know whether an establishment is REAL-certified when they see a decal on a window and a plaque that’s displayed inside. The REAL logo also will be on establishments’ websites and menus and in marketing campaigns.

Assad says the certification is “about incentivizing a shift to a more humane and transparent food system.”