Snail of Approval

What is the Snail of Approval?

In order to help guide people to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food DC awards the Snail of Approval to eateries and artisans contributing to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the National Capital Region.

Since 2011, the Snail of Approval:

  • Recognizes and celebrates eateries and artisans contributing good, clean, and fair food to our community.
  • Spreads awareness of the Slow Food philosophy, and the establishments that support it.

Award Criteria


Quality is fundamental:  food must taste good and be good for us.  Quality includes:

  • the freshness and wholesomeness of ingredients;
  • the care and craft with which they are handled;
  • the quality of life of consumers, producers and their neighbors.


Authenticity means that the food produced is true to its source, including:

  • Natural products that are free of additives;
  • Local and seasonal foods that are true to their time and place;
  • Heirloom varietals and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history;
  • Traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage.

Authentic foods come from, and contribute to, ecological and cultural systems that are good, clean and fair.


Sustainability means paying attention to the consequences of how food is produced and distributed, and reducing the negative impacts of food production.  In order to be good stewards of the environment in which we live, we must:

  • Protect the biodiversity on which we depend;
  • Be humane to the animals we raise;
  • Be fair to the people we employ:
  • Insist that high quality food be available to all;
  • Use processes that are good, clean and fair.

Award Procedures

Anyone can nominate a food or beverage provider serving the National Capital Region who contributes to the quality and/or authenticity and/or sustainability of our food supply.  

Nominations can be submitted to the next Snail of Approval Committee using a Snail of Approval nomination form from now until October 31, 2016.  The Committee will vet the nominees and request additional information from nominees.  If you nominate a local business, please be sure to let them know; nominees who fail to respond to requests for additional information will be disqualified. The Snail of Approval Committee will then select up to 20 award recipients.

Recipients will receive:

  • Snail of Approval decal(s) to be displayed at their place of business;
  • A Snail of Approval icon for inclusion on websites, menus, newsletters;
  • Be listed, along with a description of their products and services, on the Snail of Approval page of the Slow Food DC website.

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  1. Pingback: Slow Food DC Snail of Approval Award Winners Announced | Happily Natural Day: Celebrating Natural Living

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