Food is something, whose mere mention makes our palate tingle with excitement, but do we ever give a second thought about how many tonnes of food is being wasted every single day?! The other day, I attended a wedding which served amazing food, but one look at the food being dumped left me thinking if there was a way to satisfy your palate while ensuring that there’s no wastage. My curiosity made me Google about it where I stumbled across Eat Raja in an article. I was astonished by their zero waste policy and delved deeper to know the backstory.
Anand Raj’s father used to run the juice cafe and infact it is one of the first juice bars in that area, famous for its cold-pressed juices. Anand Raj’s father worked hard and educated his son, so he wouldn’t have to work like him. Anand Raj finished his engineering and then became a successful RJ in Bangalore.
But unfortunately, his father passed away and his mother took care of the juice bar. Yet, they had attempting times and the juice shop was confronting hardly any misfortunes. That’s when Anand Raaj quit his RJ profession and helped his mom to run his dad’s juice shop. In any case, he needed to it be unique and give it a novel natural turn. So he chose to have a Zero Waste policy and work on a novel idea of serving his juices in the organic product itself, to keep away from wastage. He put his engineering design aptitudes to use in carving out the fruits in the proper shape to hold the juice.
Anand Raj in an interview says “I decided on the concept of ‘Eat Raja- Amma Maadiddu’, which means whatever you will get here will be homemade. I have seen how the business used to generate a lot of waste earlier – be it in terms of cups, straws, PET bottles and carry bags. When I took over, I have decided to get rid of this legacy of waste, and that’s how our journey from being a humble juice shop to becoming Bengaluru’s first zero-waste juice corner took place”.
Due to his concern and love towards the environment, he decided to make the cafe a zero-waste zone. Initially, all he had done is started refusing the single-use products and segregating wet and dry waste. Then he banned plastic bottles, straw which is a major part of dry waste. Instead of plastic straws, he started using steel straws and leaf straws. Later he started serving the liquid savories in the fruit shell itself instead of the cups/glasses. After the usage, those citrus fruit shells are segregated into one bin and non-citrus fruit shells into the other. Non-citrus fruit shells are fed to the animals. The citrus peels are used to make bio enzymes that are used to clean the steel straws and also to manufacture floor cleaners, PET washes, and detergents. He also sells these bio enzymes and detergents.
“People don’t visit here just for juice, they’re seeing it as experience,” says Anand Raj.
He also banned selling packaged water packets even though it’s their main source of revenue. Apart from juices, he also sells homemade food like masalas, prepared by his mom. The innovative ways the cafes have adopted to serve food and beverages with their cool & crazy ideas are turning heads.
In this quirky way, Eat Raja-Amma Maadiddu became the city’s first Zero-Waste Cafe in Bangalore.
“If the change has to happen, it should begin with oneself and I don’t make huge profits. But, I don’t want this to fail because it might put down people who would want to adopt a zero-waste policy” says Anand Raj.
If you reside in Bangalore or happen to stop by in Bangalore make sure you grab a bite at Eat Raja-Amma Maadiddu which will be a refreshing experience for you as much as it was for me!