WooFood Revolution Coming to a Restaurant Near You
The restaurant industry is a common scapegoat for health authorities and medical professionals when conjuring up contributors to the obesity epidemic. Usually filled with condescending rhetoric, the main theme is usually similar: high calorie, high fat, high sodium foods are bad for their patrons and the health of the community. These foods are contributing to the obesity-related problems that plague our society, and it is the restaurant’s responsibility to fix this. Unfortunately they rarely venture a business friendly solution.
Enter Matt Dewolf.
Along with his colleagues at UMASS medical school, Matt created WooFood, a non-profit company founded to improve the health and nutrition in the town of Worcester, Massachusetts. The concept is simple and genius. Restaurants who would like to be WooFood certified have to meet a set of certain criteria for their food options, such as healthful portion sizes, whole grain options, or healthful children’s menu foods. Depending on the level of certification each restaurant achieves, they will receive a WooFood certification of certified, silver, or gold, which can be displayed proudly in their windows. This allows the restaurant to demonstrate its healthy choices, and provides the customer with an easy tool to determine which restaurants are certified, and which are not.
The specific meals at each restaurant which meet WooFood’s standards are clearly labeled with an easily identifiable logo, signifying a healthy choice. Here are the founders describing it themselves:
There are now three WooFood certified restaurants in Worcester, and many more are in the process of becoming certified. Any potential solution to our nation’s health problems that may stifle businesses is not a real solution. WooFood is brilliant because it does just the opposite, and is a win:win for both the consumer and the restaurants. Thanks to these insanely smart, forward-thinking medical students, Worcester will be a healthier city for years to come.