About the Snail of Approval
In order to help guide Cincinnatians, newcomers, and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food Cincinnati awards the Snail of Approval to those exceptional producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to the Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability of the food Cincinnati. At every opportunity, we consider how these themes reflect the hallmark Slow Food values of food that is good, clean, and fair.
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. We should also consider how a business treats its employees. The restaurant industry is rife with examples of exploitative labor practices which are distinctly unfair. We care about the workers in the dining room as much as those on the farm field.
We have developed several rubrics to give some direction as to what sort of organizations we are looking for: