You have to eat well to live well, according to one adage — and at Denison, you can do both. The college is ranked #11 in the nation by College Consensus for its recent dining hall renovations, a variety of healthy food options, and sustainability initiatives.
Denison is redefining the ways that campuses can become more sustainable while serving fresh, nutritious food. In the dining halls and eateries across campus, 38 percent of the meals are made with local, farm-to-fork foods. Collaboration with local farms helps empower local producers and strengthen the surrounding community.
Programs on sustainability and healthy food options educate the community, and Denison recognizes Mindful Mondays, an initiative to consider social and environmental issues surrounding meat consumption. Each of the college’s dining halls carries vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant, and gluten-free options. Other sustainability practices include recycling and composting.
Denison has two main dining halls, Huffman and Curtis, as well as Slayter Market and the Nest, a late-night option. In the fall of 2017, Curtis was renovated to include a sitting area and fireplace, as well as a variety of seating options, creating social spaces for students. Huffman recently was renovated as well, updating the serving stations and décor, and adding options to the menu, including a Mongolian-style barbeque station. The Nest, a convenient late-night option with a coffee-bar atmosphere, has a new menu. And Slayter Market, a popular spot on campus that serves both express and hot food, recently has added new food offerings to their menus, including sushi and a smoothie bar.
The teaching kitchen, a new initiative, teaches students how to cook simple, healthy meals. Learning how to cook nutritious, affordable meals gives students the autonomy to make their own choices about what to eat, especially during their senior year as they take advantage of kitchens in their apartment-style rooms. The teaching kitchen concept is part of Denison’s wellness model that serves the whole person, embracing five pillars of well-being that include intellectual, social, personal, community, and financial health.