Welcome to Davidson College’s Food & Sustainability initiative. With support from The Duke Endowment, we’re collecting the stories and researching the issues that are defining the movement. So what is sustainability in the first place? Does it mean you recycle? Turn the lights off when you leave the room? Limit the time you shower? Yes and no. These are all smaller components of the bigger picture. Below are three definitions that capture the essence and importance of sustainability in a single sentence.
Triple Bottom Line
For a business, society or lifestyle to be sustainable—to last for the long haul—it has to consider the whole or “triple” bottom line: people, planet, and profit. No component is more important than any other.
The Law of the Iroquois
“In every deliberation we make, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation.”
The Brundtland Commission Definition
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The DFS Story
The Davidson Food System Process
When was the last time you looked at your plate and wondered, “Huh, where did this food come from?” Most of us are guilty of taking for granted the hard work that went into prepping the fields, growing, harvesting, transporting, and preparing the food before it reaches our plate. Food systems unveil the journey our food undertakes to reach us.
The food system at Davidson College is comprised of the campus’ dining services, the college farm, national and local food providers, and the campus compost facility. Dining services purchases food from both local and national providers. Food waste on campus is then composted and used on campus grounds.
Culture & Food
Societies generally center traditional holidays and customs around preparing and sharing food with family or the community. Traditional dishes embrace long-standing traditions.
Small communities, often in third world countries, can fall prey to large corporations that seek to exploit their resources. Organizations, like Fair Trade, work to combat this exploitation.
Food & Identity
Traditional dishes and cooking techniques originate from the experiences, values, available crops, technology, and needs of unique communities. With rapid globalization, individuals manage to retain their mother culture by preparing these dishes.
Thousands of people live in areas with no access to fresh and healthy food. These places are referred to as “food deserts” and often disproportionately affect low income neighborhoods.