What Is SPE, and Why Is It Important?

SPE_video_peppers

UC Davis Dining Services is proud to partner with SPE Certified to bring UC Davis Aggies a healthy and sustainable meal option at the Dining Commons. You can find SPE Certified meals at Segundo, Tercero, and Cuarto Dining Commons for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week. So what is SPE? Greg Deligdisch, VP Marketing of SPE Certified writes a guest post:

What is SPE?

SPE stands for Sanitas Per Escam, literally Health Through Food in Latin. It’s an apt “promise” for a unique third-party certification and consulting company that is defining a new way to eat. In essence, SPE Certified enhances the nutritional quality of meals without compromising taste, thereby ensuring that every dish is healthy, sustainable and most of all, delicious.

SPE Certified is the first of its kind, a revolutionary new brand providing a universal, trusted standard for food — similar to what LEED® is to buildings and the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval® is to household products. So when students see the distinctive SPE logo (dubbed a “squiggly, red insignia” by The New York Times), they will know those dishes have been properly sourced, are nutritionally balanced and taste great.

Healthy food need not be boring

SPE was created by Emmanuel Verstraeten, Founder and CEO, to build a bridge between the culinary and scientific worlds and to ensure that for the first time, healthy food did not need to be boring. So in 2001, he brought together a chef and a dietitian (truly an odd couple!) and opened the first SPE restaurant in Brussels named Rouge Tomate, followed in 2008 by Rouge Tomate New York. From the beginning, though, the goal was to expand beyond, with the restaurants serving only as the “incubators”, real-life laboratories for this unique culinary philosophy. So in May 2012, he launched SPE Certified, through which all foodservice establishments — restaurants, cruise lines, school and university cafeterias, airlines, corporate cafeterias, hospitals, etc. – can now access the ultimate in nutritionally balanced, sustainable food.

Within months of launching, blue-chip brands such as Celebrity Cruises, UMass Amherst, Hotel Plaza-Athénée NY and Michelin-starred Danji and Seasonal restaurants jumped on the “health bandwagon” and became SPE-certified. SPE Certified is now proud to partner with UC Davis, the first school to become certified on the West Coast.

Why eat SPE?

The latest health, or rather un-health, numbers are staggering: in 2030, 42% of the US population will be obese, and it is getting worse every year. Increasing numbers of Americans are suffering from diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer – all contributing to skyrocketing health care costs. Verstraeten created SPE with a real desire not only to affect positive change, but also to reach as many men, women and children as possible. And what better place to showcase this compelling brand, indisputably at the center of the current (white-hot) health and nutrition conversation, than in the cutting-edge, sustainably-focused cafeterias of  UC Davis?

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