For those of you who would like to see an even more in-depth look at WooFood, check out our Press Page.
So what is WooFood?
WooFood is a non-profit organization that seeks to make the healthy choice the easy choice in restaurants. We utilize something known as "Choice Architecture" to build a restaurant experience that promotes healthful choices. So what the heck does that mean? One simple example is the default option. Often times, when you go out to eat, the default option is not a very healthy option, regardless of what you order. There are not enough vegetables, too much cheese, too large portion size, etc. We want to make the default (automatic) option a healthful option but leave the customer with the option to make it less healthful, if they so desire. To learn more, read on!
What can I expect at a WooFood Certified Restaurant?
1.The healthful choice is the easy choice. WooFood doesn't take away choice, but does want to make the better choice easier for you to make. Many WooFood certified restaurants offer to "Make it WooFood Certified" and will make you a more healthful version of their most popular dishes on request.
2. Healthful options that are clearly marked with the WooFood logo. At least two of these options will be vegetarian and at least one will be non-vegetarian. For WooFood, it isn't enough to have something that is just healthful. We want to make sure that it tastes good.
3. An easy way to reduce portion size (most of our restaurants offer "Dinner For Now, Tomorrow's Chow" which means half of your meal gets wrapped up to bring home and half is brought out hot and fresh!). If you're like most people, it's game over if you're hungry and a giant plate of food is put in front of you.
Is WooFood a vegetarian, local, or organic movement?
No! While these movements do often encourage healthful eating, you can have something that is local and organic that is NOT healthy (I'm looking at you, Mr. local organic bacon...). WooFood supports restaurants using local and organic ingredients, but we do not require it for certification.
This is a completely valid question, which the WooFood founders struggled with when creating the WooFood Criteria. Because WooFood is a public health organization, it was decided that it is better to encourage healthful practices into any and every type of venue willing to implement them. WooBerry, our first WooFood Certified dessert venue showed outstanding initiative in implementing changes. The WooFood dessert criteria states that a WooFood certified dessert should consist of greater than or equal to 50% fresh fruit without sugar added. This is very possible at WooBerry as fresh fruit makes up many of their toppings. WooFood dessert criteria does not exclude any ingredients all-together. This is being realistic in the sense that it is better from a public health perspective to encourage a large number of people to improve their dessert choices by a moderate amount, than a negligible number of people to choose completely healthful desserts (for example - 100% fruit only).
WooFood is not here to restrict choice! While we would love to see every option be healthful, we feel people should be able to order and eat whatever they wish. You can look at our criteria for the specifics, but for basic certification we require 3 WooFood Certified dishes that are guaranteed healthful- 2 that are vegetarian and 1 that is NON-vegetarian. In addition, many restaurants are offering to "Make it WooFood Certified" and may be able to modify any or at least their most popular items on request to give them a wholesome boost; more vegetables, whole grains, and lighter on the heavy stuff (cream, cheese, red or processed meat).
A restaurant is free to offer any choice it wishes. The goal is to improve the ability to make healthful choices at any restaurant- not simply point out the healthiest ones. Of note, WooFood does have multiple levels of Certification, so a restaurant with more healthful choices by default would be recognized as Silver or Gold certified.
My favorite restaurant is SUPER healthy, and they aren't Certified
WooFood would love to certify them if they are willing to meet the criteria and become part of the program! Of note, WooFood does not simply "choose" restaurants. Any restaurant is welcome to contact WooFood to become certified.
Questions? Comments? Let us know! email@example.com