Eat REAL Alliance
The food we consume is the single biggest factor in the growth of diabetes, obesity and heart disease - all leading causes of preventable chronic disease. For the first time in history, we are eating more food prepared by others than food we prepare ourselves; this has provided the foodservice industry unprecedented influence over dietary habits, particularly for children during their formative years.
Unfortunately, the foodservice industry has historically been a low-margin business with intense competition and economic incentives that maximize the palatability and profitability of the foods they serve, which has directly contributed to the rise of diet-related disease. Addressing this challenging quandary, the United States Healthful Food Council and the Institute for Responsible Nutrition have merged together as a Eat REAL Alliance to develop and expand REAL Certified across the United States, providing a standards based free-market solution to help reverse this dangerous, incredibly costly national crisis.
It is vital that the interests around Real Food form an Alliance.
We need to quantify and qualify what real food is.
We need to protect the space around Real Food from the processed food & beverage industry, which is already invading the space aggressively. While the processed food and beverage industry is ravaging the human metabolic system and global environment, the food movement spends much time debating various issues (e.g. plant-based versus animal-based foods). We absolutely believe these debates are important and worthy, however, they should not distract us, nor the followers of the food movement, from the larger and much greater problem – the ultra-processed food business. What are they doing to our food, and what are they putting in it?
The general public is exhausted from the mudslinging debates over how much Fat, or carbohydrate we should eat, whether plant-based versus animal-based food is best for us, etc. We need civil debates designed to bring us together, inform us, get us out of our silos (which is where processed food and beverage business wants us to stay).
Despite best attempts, fruit and vegetable consumption has been flatlining for decades, while processed foods are steadily gaining market share. This comes along with staggering increases in chronic disease related to food and diet. The food movement lacks unity, and is hobbled with competition and discord.
These are among the compelling reasons we are forging the Eat REAL Alliance.