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 (currently until October 31, 2016).  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 are currently being accepted until October 31, 2016.   Submit yours today!  Winners will be announced before the end of the 2016.

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