Want to eat healthily but don’t have time to whip up your own meals? Start looking for SPE certification when you eat out. Similar to architecture’s LEED certification, it’s a new way for restaurants to highlight and follow strict criteria for serving healthy fare. Short for sanitas per escam (Latin for health through food), SPE focuses on using local, seasonal ingredients and cooking to maximize the nutritional value of ingredients. Chefs can submit single dishes or entire menus for certification, and SPE’s executive chef and registered dietician will tweak the culinary masterpieces to boost their nutritional value and take advantage of the freshest local and seasonal meats and vegetables. The program’s creator, New York City restaurateur Emmanuel Verstraeten, is hopeful that the certification will spread from fine-dining restaurants to causal-eating chains and even school cafeterias in the coming years.
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