Snail of Approval Criteria


In order to help guide people to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food DC awards the Snail of Approval to those eateries and artisans who contribute to the Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the Washington, DC metro area.


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. It is a standard of Quality based on food that is good, clean and fair.


Authenticity means that the food is true to its source. Natural products free of additives are true to themselves; local, seasonal foods 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 that we must pay attention to the consequences of how we produce and distribute food. We must be good stewards of the environment in which we live; we must protect the biodiversity on which we depend; we must be humane to the animals we raise, fair to the people we employ, and we must insist that high quality food be available to all. Sustainability means reducing all the negative consequences of making food – it means using processes that are good, clean and fair.


Anyone may nominate any food or beverage provider that serves the DC community, and that contributes to the Quality and/or Authenticity and/or Sustainability of our food supply, by filling out and submitting the SFDC Snail of Approval nomination form, during the nomination period (which is currently over). Next, the Snail of Approval Committee will vet the nominees and request additional information from nominees. (If you nominate a local business, please be sure to let them know you did so: those nominees who fail to respond to inquiries for additional information in a timely manner will be disqualified.) The Snail of Approval Committee will then select up to 20 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; and will be listed, along with a description of their products and services, on the Snail of Approval page of the SFDC website.

Please read the Slow Food DC standards for awarding the Snail of Approval, and consider what special contributions your nominee makes to a good, clean and fair food supply. Nominations for the Snail of Approval have closed – the deadline was December 1, 2014.  Thank you so much to all who nominated their favorite produces of good, clear, fair food in the National Capital Region!  Winners will be announced in the new year.

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9 Responses to Snail of Approval Criteria

  1. Patricia Molumby says:

    Freshfarm Markets should be considered for the “Snail of Approval.” This organization has established multiple farmer/producer markets in the Washington metropolitan area. By doing so, Farmfresh Markets has provided local/regional farmers an opportunity to sell their produce without a middleman, both increasing farmers’ profits and allowing them to interact with the consumers. In 2008, Farmfresh initiated a “double-dollars” program so that low-income families can purchase fresh produce using WIC and SFNMNP coupons and SNAP (food stamps).
    Further information about this program is at:

  2. Patricia, I hope Farmfresh Market will get Snail of Approval.

  3. Thank you Slow Food DC for the award. We had a great time at the awards party, meeting others in this important movement. Keep up the good work.

    Dan & Erin
    Sandy Spring CSA

  4. Juliet O. says:

    I’m trying to find cruelty-free restaurants in DC, meaning that the restaurant buys meat in which the animals are treated well, not in cages and not beaten, up to the point where they grow big enough and then killed in a “humane” way. Restaurants that get food from small farms etc..

    The criteria here is unclear if this is part of the standard that restaurants have to have in order to be awarded. I just want some clarification as to how much these restaurants pursue cruelty-free meat, dairy, poultry.. etc. and if this award does not help endorse that maybe you can advise another website which does list restaurants and maybe even markets who do have standards that include the wellness of the animals while they are alive and farmed for consumption.


    • Richard Naples says:

      Thank you for the comment, Juliet.

      Many of our Snail of Approval winners do source their products from certified cruelty-free farms, but we cannot guarantee this information.

      I would suggest that our list would be a great starting point for doing further investigation. Many of our farms and restaurants are certified humane, but I suspect most have not sought the label out specifically.

      Real Time Farms shows great potential as a tool to better understand where our food comes from. If you find a farm that is certified humane, you can see to whom they supply their products. And as a new company, I encourage you to give them feedback and ask that they add a cruelty-free designation to their search filters.

    • EcoFriendly Foods, LLC is a Certified Humane processing facility. We provide our pork to multiple DC restaurants. These restaurants include Taqueria, CHipotle, Bibianna, Grafiatto, Cashion’s Eat Place, Johnny’s Half Shell, Fairmont Hotel, Cork Wine Bar, Eat and Smile and Curious Grape.

      Hope that helps you.

  5. Good article once again. Thank you.

  6. Pingback: Snail of Approval Award Party 2013! | Slow Food D.C.

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