In order to help guide West Michiganders and visitors to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food West Michigan awards the Snail of Approval to those food-related providers such as producers, purveyors and artisans who contribute to the Quality, Authenticity and Sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the West Michigan region.
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 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.
Procedures Slow Food Members can nominate any food-related provider that serves the West Michigan region, and that contributes to the Quality and/or Authenticity and/or Sustainability of our food supply, by filling out and submitting the SFWM Snail of Approval nomination form to the SFWM Steering Committee; the President will vet the nominees and forward appropriate nominations to the SoA Committee; the Committee will then select the recipients. Recipients will receive Snail of Approval decal(s) to be displayed, and will be listed on the Snail of Approval page of the SFWM website.
The Snail of Approval awards are reviewed on an annual basis and renewal is determined by the Committee.