The Boulder Vally School District has the REAL certification, and is the first public school district to be certified by the United States Healthful Food Council for commitment to healthy food service practices.
The REAL certification is the “Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership.” “We stand for really healthy food, clean ingredients and knowing our sourcing,” said Boulder Valley’s food services director, Ann Cooper. “It’s easy to say these things, but within the world of school food there’s nothing to really showcase that we go above the standards.”
The district has worked for eight years on the school lunch program, involving commitment of the school board and superintendent.
Originally, the certification was given to Washington, D.C. area restaurants. It is modeled after the environmental LEED certification. The council has expanded to certifying corporate and university kitchens. Boulder Valley is the first school district.
“There are a lot of people riding the green wave, but not necessarily doing all the things they’re preaching,” said Melissa Rouse, a spokeswoman for the United States Healthful Food Council. “We want to let their consumers know that they’re making these extra efforts.”