Meet This Year’s Good Food Awards Finalists

Good Food Awards

Each year, dozens of hopeful food and drink artisans enter their products in a unique competition: the Good Food Awards. From Virginia’s EcoFriendly Foods with its Iberico Americana Long Leg Ham to Oregon’s Lillie Belle Farms touting The Most Awesome Chocolate Bar EVER, 183 finalists from 31 states await the new year eagerly, hoping their creations win.

If you aren’t aware of the Good Food Awards, let me introduce you.

What Is The Good Food Awards?

In its third year, the competition’s tagline reads: “Redefining Good Food: Tasty. Authentic. Responsible.” Its web site describes it best:

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients.

In late summer, contestants submitted their specialty products in nine categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, and spirits. The finalists were announced earlier this month, and the 99 winners will be honored at a special dinner hosted by Alice Waters on January 18th in San Francisco. The prize? A Good Food Awards seal and lots of visibility to buyers and food lovers across the country.

Good Food Awards’ Principles

The competition, created through a collaboration of food producers, farmers, food journalists, and independent grocers organized by Seedling Projects, created a set of guiding principles to define “good food” in the context of the awards:

Good Food Is Tasty

  • Food is delicious, bringing joy to those who consume it.

Good Food Is Authentic

  • No artificial ingredients are used.
  • Food is an expression of tradition and culture.
  • Seasonality and locality are valued in crafting of food.

Good Food Is Responsible

  • Respect and fair compensation are core values within the production chain.
  • Ingredients are grown without synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides and are GMO free.
  • Growing practices are chosen to promote healthy soil and biodiversity.
  • Local ingredients are utilized wherever possible.
  • Water and resource conservation and recycling are practiced.
  • Transparency and honesty is practiced with consumers.
  • Direct, face-to-face communication is sought out between growers, food crafters and everyone else in the production chain.
  • Good animal husbandry is practiced, and farm animals can eat and behave according to their natural instincts.

I love this list. It characterizes what I and my fellow EatDrinkBetter writers seek to find and share with you. Sounds like good food to me!

Want To Be There When The Winners Are Announced?

You can attend the January 18th gala reception in San Francisco to taste the winning creations. And the following day brings the Good Food Awards Marketplace to San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building. For $5, you can meet and greet the food crafters and buy their products, supporting good food and small food producers everywhere.

Oh, and by the way. That’s January 19th. My birthday. Hint, hint, Jon.

Image Credit: Good Food Awards

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