How Tirupathi temple reduces food wastages…

As government plans to fix sizes of portions served by star hotels and restaurants, there are examples from organisations who are playing a self regulatory role.

Likes of Tirupathi Balaji temple use both technology and long queues to ensure there is less food wastage:

On a typical day, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple in Tirumala serves 75,000 meals in the form of ‘Anna Prasadam’. The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which administers the temple, depends on a well-oiled system and the devotee’s faith to limit waste.

The followers believe that they are consuming prasadam and hence do not waste. Secondly, devotees after standing in queues for considerable time, are hungry and tend to complete the whole portion. There is a second serving if required.

Apart from this, the TTD has an informal system to measure the attendance of devotees. Information is collated from queue complexes, rooms and online darshan requests to decide how much to cook. The battery of cooks then get into action. In case there is a shortage, the items are replenished. Normally, items like curry, sambhar, rasam, chutney are made in advance. Rice is cooked as per need. Excess food is taken out of the huge kitchen complex and transported in bowls in vans to places on the Tirumala hill and served free to the people. The only waste is that of liquid food such as sambhar and rasam, which is disposed off. The number of meals increase to 1.5 lakh during festivals and auspicious dates.

One does not know how we got to such lows where we waste so much food that government has to intervene. One of the first lessons we as children got was not to waste water and food. Something seriously wrong has gone with our basic education that things have come to this level…


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