In order to help guide people to food that is good, clean and fair, Slow Food Tennessee Valley awards the SOA 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 East Tennessee. Only food-service related businesses (holding business licenses) will be considered for the award (i.e. restaurants, cafes, breweries, food trucks). Farmers and market booths are ineligible.
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.