People tend to think of environmental issues when they hear the word “sustainability”. However, sustainability issues transcend lines of almost every discipline imaginable, especially food related sustainability issues.

Food has the power to connect every person on the planet, whether for cultural and religious reasons or as a means to come together and connect on a personal level.

Particularly at Davidson, we strive to take a liberal arts approach and highlight the different issues that fall into the many academic departments. To solve many of these issues, it will take an interdisciplinary approach to tackle the problem.

Liberal Arts Approach

Environmental Studies

• Soil Quality

• Land and Water Pollution

• Water Consumption


• Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

• Crop Disease Susceptibility

• Nutritional Value

• Crop Growth Cycles


• Toxicology

• Synthetic Pesticides, Fertilizers, and Herbicides


• Nutrition brain development

• Neurological disease

• Food Choices

• Perception of Food

• Eating Disorders

Computer Science

• Apps such as Foodscape

• Crop Management Programs

• Advanced Ordering Systems

• Grocery Store Inventory Management


• Farm Business

• Farmers Markets


• Slavery

• Land Allocation

• Indentured Servitude

International Studies

• Trade Network

• Food Security

• Food Exploitation

Medical Humanities

• Obesity

• Type 2 Diabetes

• Cardiovascular Disease

Physical Education

• Fueled body


• Rise of Diet Related Disease

• Nutrition


• Access to Healthy Food

• Institutionalized Racism

• Farmer Demographics

• Farm Labor Demographics


• Specific Diets and Regulations

• Kosher Diet

• Vegetarian Diet Observed by Many Religions

Political Science

• Farm Bill

• United States Department of Agriculture

• Agriculture Tax Breaks

On Campus

Dining Services

Davidson Dining Services works hard to bring students a variety of food options on campus and what many students don’t know is that they work equally hard to incorporate sustainable practices. Commons is a scratch kitchen, meaning they make almost all of their food from scratch. They also purchase all of the Davidson Farm’s produce. Both Commons and Davis Cafe compost pre and post-consumer food waste, resulting in a zero food waste system!

Students volunteer regularly
at the Davidson College Farm.

Meet the Crew

Zero-Waste Games

The Sustainability Office hosts several Zero-Waste games throughout the year. Plates, cups, and food trays are compostable during these games and student volunteers direct fans to the recycle and compost bins. At these games, up to 90% of waste is diverted from the landfill.


Currently both the Davis Café and Vail Commons compost pre-consumer food waste. Compost bins are set up in the Union to collect post-consumer food waste and compostable bins. Vail Commons is working towards integrating post-consumer as well to have a zero-food waste system.