At Rochester Regional, we're adopting responsible and sustainable food sourcing while also tackling organic waste. Our goal? To nourish our patients and staff with fresh, healthy offerings and make a positive difference to the environment and our local economy.
Many challenges abound in our U.S. food system: an overemphasis on cost reduction neglecting nutrition value, leading to unhealthy eating habits, and rising environmental concerns. Remarkably, while over 68% of U.S. citizens are classified as obese or overweight, healthier eating options remain elusive to most.
Add to this, nearly 40% of our food is wasted or tossed into landfills. And consider the average journey of food, spanning 1,500 to 2,500 miles, from farm to your plate—a significant environmental footprint. We're driven to change this perspective! We strive to foster healthier eating habits, provide nutritious food options, reduce food wastage, convert inevitable waste into renewable electricity, and continuously enhance our sourcing from local suppliers.
Did you know? We source 20% of our purchased produce from local farms.
We are enabling the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement by providing food share drop-off locations across our campuses. We collaborate with CSA organizations working with credited local farmers and wholesalers to access high-quality and sustainable produce. Over five food share locations have been established within our facilities.
Nearly 25% of landfill trash is comprised of potentially divertable food waste. Recent audits at Rochester General, Unity, and Riedman suggest that our organization could divert up to 705,925 lbs of food waste annually. Organic waste in landfills slowly decomposes into methane—a greenhouse gas, 20 times more potent than CO2. To counteract this, we have started diverting organic waste from our Riedman Campus to an anaerobic digester, which breaks down the waste into methane, used to produce electricity. This process also generates a nutrient-rich slurry, displacing synthetic chemical fertilizers in agriculture.
We are vigorously backing local farmers by purchasing their produce, which amounts to 20% of our total annual produce expenditure. We also encourage our employees to purchase homegrown food by hosting farmers markets at our Riedman location and planning expansion to other locations.
Engage With Us
If you have a sustainability initiative in mind, we'd love to hear about it! Submit your ideas below.