Tennessee Tech first REAL certified campus in state

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A REAL certification is the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship. Through an initiative funded by the Tennessee Department of Health called Eat REAL Tennessee, Tennessee Tech follows REAL guidelines to aid in reducing diet related disease.

The announcement was made by the United States Healthful Food Council, a nonprofit established in 2011 to transform America's food system and fight diet-related disease by realigning the food industry's incentives with consumers' health interests. The organization has certified restaurants, corporate cafes and college dining services in over 30 states.

"Working with Tennessee Tech Dining and Teresa Hall has been a wonderful experience," said Nikkole Turner, Eat REAL Tennessee project manager for the USHFC. "TTU Dining, or the 'Caf as the students call it, has worked with Eat REAL Tennessee to implement changes like full servings of fruits and vegetables at the grill station and whole wheat pasta options every day. The students that I have spoken to are proud that Tennessee Tech is the first in the state to achieve this recognition."

USHFC's third-party registered dieticians utilize a points-based REAL Index to audit foodservice providers across a range of criteria. To become REAL certified, operators must satisfy prerequisites and earn sufficient points in the areas of nutrition, preparation, sourcing and leadership.

"Healthy, Sustainable and Fresh - Eat REAL- Eat the Right Way. Tennessee Tech University and Chartwells share these goals and standards, which is why the REAL Certification is a perfect fit," said Sam Holm, Director of Dining Services at Tennessee Tech. "Students are the reason we are here.

Whether feeding students bodies to perform in athletics or feeding students minds to maximize their education, offering safe, nutritious food is how we help students reach their goals."

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