What’s For Dinner?
We’re Mike & Annie-Laurie, the DOC Trips Sustainability Coordinators! (Read our last blog post about sustainability on Trips here).
By now, the excitement is sure to be setting in. You’ve read this blog top to bottom (right? RIGHT?), you’ve bought your first Dartmouth shirt, and you’ve lain awake countless night entranced by the possibilities ahead.
The thought of new friends and activities making your heart race, the slight butterflies that come with moving to a new city, state, or even country tickle your stomach. But let’s be real, at the end of the day, we know what’s really on your mind (and ours). And so we come to the age-old quandary: What’s for dinner?
After a full day of hiking or canoeing or farming (or rock climbing or walking or horseback riding or volunteering….), you’ll be hungry. And DOC Trips doesn’t take its victuals lightly. First-Year Trips chooses food that is not only delicious (if you haven’t had Cabot cheddar yet, you have a revelation coming), but sustainable. Cooked meals feature local vegetables, and trail goodies use minimal packaging and maximum organics. Yes, all of Trips trail food is vegetarian. But it’s so delectable I’ll wager that even the carnivores among us won’t care.
Start at Hanover (read more about what happens in Hanover): you’ve met a hundred new classmates, played tons of get-to-know you games, and made your first slightly awkward jokes with you tripees. As you’re making your way back to Robinson Hall, the familiar smell of a cookout rises to meet you. This is the Hanover barbecue, the most locally sourced and minimally wasteful meal of trips. There’s corn that H-Croo has spent an hour husking, rolls made at King Arthur Flour just across the river in Vermont, local meat for your hamburgers… Ya, our stomachs are rumbling too.
Now fast forward to your time in the wilderness. You have in your backpacks two dinners, two breakfasts, and three lunches. The result of numerous excel sheets and millions of calculations — your food is tailored to your trip size, trip intensity, and dietary restrictions, and as much comes from local and sustainable companies as humanely possible. To give you an idea on how much trail food DOC Trips uses: In 2011, the program went through 1,700 pounds of apples and a literal ton (that’s 2000 pounds!) of bagels. So no matter your appetite, we’ve got you covered.
Snack foods come in bulk to reduce packaging, and whatever items possible are organic. Think organic banana chips (might sound weird but we’re addicted), yogurt covered raisins (We don’t know anyone who isn’t addicted), corn nuts, and GORP (“good ‘ole raisins & peanuts).
Lunch is pita bread with Cabot cheddar or peanut butter and jelly. Dinner one night is Annie’s All Natural Mac’n’Cheese (plus extra Cabot cheese – Cabot makes everything better) and burritos with sautéed veggies for the other. Breakfast is oatmeal with peanut butter, raisins, or natural sugar (or none) one day and bagels the next; and don’t forget the hot cocoa (that goes with any meal, you can never have too much!).
And finally we arrive at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (where all DOC Trips lead to), exhausted and ecstatic. Here you will find a home-cooked, locally sourced, family-style meal of massive proportions, made with love by Lodj Croo (learn more about them here). That team of amazing people makes enough food for all 1,000 of you lucky trippees (and 250 of us leaders), a feat seemingly impossible and yet they breeze through it with flying colors. After the soup, salad, entreé, and dessert, you’ll never want to eat again — if only to keep the taste of that meal with you for a little while longer.
Food is great. It’s delicious. It’s important. It brings people together and draws the weariness from your bones. And we take great care in making sure that each and every one of you will be comfortably fed with the best food we can get. So get ready ‘16s, your Cabot cheese awaits…
See you in a few weeks!
Mike & Annie-Laurie
P.S. Have questions about food on DOC Trips? Need to discuss a dietary restriction? Just want to learn more about how to get involved with sustainability on campus? Feel free to contact us – phone or email – any time!