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Snail of Approval

Good, Clean, Fair Food in Your Neighborhood... and Beyond

The Slow Food Snail of Approval award is a recognition given to food and beverage establishments that are pursuing and practicing Slow Food values in their Houston and surrounding area businesses. This is more than about making good food — it’s about making commitments to the environment, local communities, employees and purveyors, and our core values of antiracism and anti-oppression. 


The Snail of Approval award is given by Slow Food Houston based on evaluations focused on the following six areas: sourcing, environmental impact, cultural connection, community involvement, staff support, and business values.


Who Should Apply?

Any food business or organization that produces and/or offers food for public consumption and is pursuing and practicing Slow Food values of good, clean, fair food for all—restaurants, farms, ranches, fisheries, cafes, bars, food trucks, breweries, wineries, caterers, value-added food producers in the Greater Houston area, or primarily serves the area. 


What are the Slow Food Core Values?


  • Seasonality: Emphasis on use of seasonal, local, fresh ingredients.

  • Taste: Fresh and wholesome ingredients; food is prepared with care and craft.

  • Artisan: Presents food created by artisans; traditional foods are true to their cultural heritage.

  • Authenticity: Heirloom and heritage breeds are true to their evolutionary history and incorporated in menus and products.


  • Sustainability: Establishment uses natural products free of additives and strives to incorporate local, seasonal foods on the menu as much as possible with regard to provenance and production methods. Uses meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish that have been produced responsibly, sustainably, and humanely from reputable providers. Produce is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.

  • Low Impact: Produces food using products and processes that minimize waste and impact of food production/distribution (e.g., avoids single-use, non-recyclable packaging/products; participates in recycling/composting and prioritizes local and low-carbon procurement).

  • Connection: Communicates regularly with distributors and producers about the quality, production and processing of products. Regular dialogue ensures traceability and a commitment to food safety.

  • Health-forward: Promotes well-balanced offerings that nourish the body and mind.


  • Local Sources: Makes an effort to procure food sources in the City of Houston, Texas, or surrounding areas (ideally within 100 miles) to boost local economy and community morale.

  • Awareness: Participates in community outreach and/or promotes community food security. Consistently practices transparency and educates customers about product sources.

  • Fair Business and Labor Practices: Contributes to the quality of life in the Greater Houston area and surrounding areas through fair employment practices; purchases ingredients produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.

  • Humane: Humans and animals are treated with dignity and respect, from farm to table. Use of growth hormones and antibiotics is limited. Animals are free to move and not confined. Managers and caretakers are thoroughly trained, skilled and competent in animal husbandry and welfare.

  • Community: Contributes to the uniqueness and richness of the Greater Houston community. Involved in advancing the awareness of Slow Food principles in the community through sharing time, talent, knowledge, and/or resources.


What Do the Snail of Approval Awardees Get?

1. A listing on the Slow Food USA national directory as seen here.

2. A listing on the Slow Food Houston Awardees Directory.

3. A dedicated blog post.

4. A shout out across our social media accounts.

5. A link in our monthly email.

6. Digital Award for use on menus, social media, etc.

7. A window decal.

8. A handy dandy certificate to hang on your wall.


How to Nominate a Business

You think you know a business that meets the Snail of Approval Standards? Then here's what you should know about nominating a business.

1. Nominate a business by filling out the form below.

2. We will reply to you to let you know we have received the form.

3. We will reach out to the Business and help them with the application process.

4. Any business that scores a 56 or greater will be eligible. If a passing score is not achieved, the applicant may seek help from us on getting the business up to standards. 

5. All applicants who pass will be contacted to participate in a short 30-minute interview and schedule a site visit.

6. Based on the Eligibility Application score, interview, and site visit-- a panel will select awardees.

Houston Snail of Approval Nomination

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How to Apply as a Business

Do you think your business have what it takes? Then follow the steps below.

1. Review the application process here, as once you start the application, you have 30 minutes to finish it.

2. Once you are ready, fill out the application here at 

3. We will contact you with your results and schedule an interview and site inspection if you pass. If you do not meet requirements, we will offer our help to get you where you want to be.

4. Based on the Eligibility Application score, interview, and site visit-- a panel will determine the awardees.

5. If awarded, reap the benefits of being an awardee.

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