In 2007, Slow Food NYC identified a need to recognize producers, purveyors, and artisans who contributed to the quality and sustainability of food consumed in New York City. Since then many Slow Food chapters across the country have adopted similar initiatives in their own areas. In 2012, the executive board of Slow Food Indy decided to launch our own Snail of Approval program. The program is designed to showcase and encourage those businesses who are committed to Slow Food values and make them integral to their operation. The aim of the program is to drive traffic to the recipients of the award, helping them become more successful and thereby further promoting sustainability.
About the Program
The program is a benefit to Slow Food members and the public, as a resource to learn what businesses are doing good, clean, and fair to the best of their ability. The endorsed businesses participate in Slow Food Indy via tastings, events, or fundraisers. Slow Food travelers from other areas may look to the program to know who to visit when in Indianapolis. The hope is for Snail of Approval to be a catalyst for improvement, in that some may increase sustainable practices and use of local and seasonal product in the hopes to qualify for the award.
The Snail of Approval is a member driven process, with a committee made up of volunteers. Nominations can come from any current member of Slow Food. Please note that nominations are limited to restaurants only at this time, and that other purveyors and artisans will be considered once the process has been expanded. Please consider the following when nominating a business:
- Are there ingredients on the menu that are clearly designated as coming from a local farm or business?
- Do the offerings rotate to reflect seasonality?
- Is there an attempt to minimize packaging or use “green” alternatives when available? (e.g. Utensils and to go boxes that are made of compostable fibers)
- Does the business compost or recycle?
- Are the concepts of good, clean and fair, or local and sustainable part of the menu, messaging, and marketing of the business?
- Do they participate in events that enrich the community or neighborhood?
While not every answer needs be “yes”, businesses that are being nominated should meet a majority of the above criteria in order to qualify. If you are unsure of any of the answers, ask your server for more information. Not only will you find out if they are an appropriate nominee, but you may encourage them to evaluate their practices.