The Good Food Awards drinks category recognizes America’s tastiest kombuchas, brewed coffees, tonics and more, made with organic or Fair Trade certified sweeteners.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the drinks community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the standards are and who will be judging this year.
Partner at Foodmuse
Over 10 years ago, McKenzie spent a year under the roof of “Europe’s Most Eco-friendly Household” according to Le Monde. It was during that time that she realized that what we eat and how we eat can have an outsized impact on the world around us.
After nearly 6 years working in corporate food program development at Airbnb, McKenzie next went on to oversee marketing for The Culinary Edge. Today, she runs Foodmuse, a culinary consulting agency, with fellow co-chair Meghan Shellenberg.
McKenzie is also the Co-Founder of Foodmuse, the SF City Lead for Pineapple Collaborative and a founding member of the Bay Area Community Kitchens (BACK).
Program Director at Airbnb
Johanna spent the last 15 years developing a profound appreciation for all things epicurean. With her career starting off as a food photographer for a small publication in Portland, Johanna spent the last 7 years as a program director at Airbnb. She spends her time almost exclusively with chefs and enjoys any opportunity to employ her operational skills to benefit projects like the Good Food Awards.
Partner at Foodmuse
A native of Alameda, CA, Meghan’s appreciation for food runs deep: her Italian ancestors emigrated here as farmers. After completing her Anthropology undergrad she went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Colorno, Italy. There, through the teachings of Slow Food, her appreciation and advocacy for artisanship, locality, and sustainability were realized. She spent the beginning of her career in retail produce procurement on both the East and West coasts.
She then spent 6 years running Airbnb’s Global Food Program.
Currently, she makes up one half of Foodmuse along with co-chair McKenzie Phelan. Foodmuse is a Bay Area based strategy and design consultancy focused on food ecosystems of all kinds. She believes food should be delicious, nutritious and sustainable.
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In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, drinks entries must meet the following standards:
- Made with a balanced objective of local, organic and highest-quality.
- Free of genetically modified ingredients (including GM beet sugar and vinegar derived from GM corn).
- Sweeteners must be organic or Fair Trade certified.*
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives including lecithin, carrageen, gums and artificial thickeners.
- Free of high fructose corn syrup.
- If made with fruits, vegetables or nuts, they are grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.
- All spices and herbs must be certified organic, Fair Trade or traceable to the farm level and grown without the use of synthetic inputs.***
- Dairy products must be made with milk from animals raised using good animal husbandry***** with access to the outdoors. Made without hormones, sub-therapeutic antibiotics and rBGH-free.
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,***** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.*****
*Honey does not require organic certification, but must meet the criteria established for the Good Food Awards honey category.
**IPM practices will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
***If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the entry will not be disqualified.
****The Good Food Foundation will refer to GAP Level 5 guidelines to define “good animal husbandry” should there be any questions as to eligibility based on this criterion.
*****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
Additionally, drinks entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
- Kombucha, kvass & kefir
- Brewed coffee (e.g., cold brew coffee, mocha, latte)
- Tonics, soda & sparkling beverages
- Smoothies & juices
- Milk & yogurt drinks (e.g., lassi, chocolate milk)
- Milk alternatives (e.g., oat milk, almond milk)
- CBD & adaptogen drinks
- Hot chocolates & Mixes (e.g., must add water or milk)