With new evidence demonstrating that certain foods could be as detrimental to our well-being as cigarettes, consumers may find comfort in knowing instantly and unequivocally that a menu item they are about to select has been bestowed with a health halo by a trusted, independent source.

SPE Certified is to dining what the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval® is to household products or what the LEED®-approved stamp is to green building standards. This is much more than simple feel-good labeling, however. SPE—sanitas per escam, literally “health through food”—is a practical philosophy for daily living and long-term wellness. Backed by a thoughtfully written 90-page manifesto outlining “a holistic approach that focuses not just on health,
but on Sourcing, Preparing and Enhancing of food,” SPE Certified aims to steer restaurants, schools, airlines—potentially any dining environment—in a clearer direction toward health. At least, that is the hope of founder and CEO Emmanuel Verstraeten, a Belgian entrepreneur who launched this certification and nutritional consulting company in 2012 on a natural parallel path to that of his Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant, Rouge® Tomate.

“Given the current epidemic of obesity and diet-related diseases, SPE Certified is poised to change the way America eats when dining out, precisely because it is equally (and easily) adaptable in any food-service establishments (whether they’re restaurants, hotels, cruise lines, airlines, cafeterias, schools and universities, healthcare facilities, etc.),” says Verstraeten.

To deliver foods that score high on all fronts, SPE uses proprietary methods developed over the past decade by leading chefs, registered dietitians, and a scientific committee of public-health and nutrition experts. This collaborative approach, rooted in Verstraeten’s original Rouge Tomate restaurant in Brussels, enhances the nutritional quality of meals while adding healthy options to restaurant menus and other food-service establishments. It combines current research with international health standards in its charter of practical guidelines and is applicable to a wide variety of cuisines. “SPE Certified has potential to positively impact attitudes and health across the country,” adds Greg Deligdisch, VP of Marketing for SPE Certified.

Try this month’s healthy recipe for Kale Pesto, and watch the Video Web Extra of SPE Certified executive chef Anthony Moraes creating it. Learn more at www.SPEcertified.com.

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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