Sustainable Food

Food services is an integral part of the healing environment at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Through our retail and patient meal service, the hospital provides comfort and nourishment to all who come through our doors. We recognize that our modern food system contributes significantly to global health and environmental challenges. By adopting healthy and sustainable food practices within the hospital, we are hopeful these practices will permeate into the communities we serve.

To mitigate the hospital’s environmental impact, the Department of Food and Nutrition has spearheaded a number of food waste reduction, environmentally preferred purchasing and education strategies. Relevant programs include:

NYP’s Healthy Beverage Initiative: NewYork-Presbyterian is committed to putting patients first in everything we do. We recognize that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages contributes to metabolic diseases and negatively impacts health outcomes. By adopting responsible beverage guidelines across our network, we aim to create a healthier and more sustainable food environment for our patients, their families and our staff and students. Through the Healthy Beverage Initiative, NYP phased out the sale of all sugar-sweetened beverages.  The hospital introduced a number of strategies to increase access to tap water and minimize the distribution of single-use beverage bottles.

Two women standing behind a table with healthy beverages

Meatless Monday: NewYork-Presbyterian is proud to offer a "Meatless Monday" entree at all of the hospital’s onsite retail locations. Through this campaign, NYP aims to educate hospital employees, patients, and visitors on the benefits of minimizing their meat consumption. Meat production accounts for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major driver of climate change. In addition to reducing one's environmental footprint, consuming less meat may help individuals lower their risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Meatless Monday allows NewYork-Presbyterian to join a global movement with a simple message: "Once a week, cut the meat."

A man and woman holding a sign advertising the meatless monday special

The Paper Straw Initiative: Americans use over 500 million straws each day. Many of these end up in our oceans, polluting the water and damaging ecosystems. To do our part, NYP has committed to transition to paper straws and wooden stirrers in all of our retail spaces. This is part of a larger project to introduce more ecofriendly paper packaging in our foodservice operations.

Cup with paper straw next to a campaign flyer about switching to paper straws

Reusable Cup Discount: NewYork-Presbyterian recognizes that many of its employees and visitors are eager to minimize their use of single-use plastic. In that spirit, NYPgreen is excited to partner with the Department of Food and Nutrition to provide a reusable cup discount at our retail outlets. Patrons who bring their own reusable tumblers will be eligible to purchase coffee and tea at a discounted price.

Reusable Cup Discount

Composting & Biodigestion in the Kitchen: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually around the world, contributing 4.4 gigatons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere. As NYP works to reduce its environmental impact, food waste reduction and diversion are of particular importance. This is because organic waste emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is significantly more potent than carbon dioxide. As a result, the hospital has adopted a number of landfill diversion strategies in its kitchens, including bio-digestion and composing. The compost collected at NewYork-Presbyterian is pre-consumer food waste that is ultimately transported to the Newton Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant where it is converted into renewable energy.

Kitchen worker taking out the trash