Goddess created food. Shakti is Annapurna. I am not ready to accept that she and the other deities will be happy when you waste food in the name of worship to make the Divine eat and drink. Why would she create food when she has to get it wasted later in the name of worship?
You may now say that one devotee offers food or bathes the Shivling with such a minimal amount of food that it doesn’t matter but it does really. Usually, I have seen that people worship to receive blessings. I don’t think so that when you waste other creation of what you call ‘God’ to offer them and receive their blessings, they would be happy. Just as you are a creation, the food and animals are their creations as well. How can the creator be happy when one of her creation harms or destroys another of her creation to make her happy?
Go back to the originals. You may find Gods and Goddesses adorned with certain flowers and ornaments and there is no mention of offerings as far as I have read until now. I am not talking about what today’s religious texts direct but the ancient ones. Religion is not wrong, how it is implemented in practicality often brings and is bringing larger problems.
Don’t say now that you are just offering one laddoo or one glass of milk or any such minimal quantity. As an individual, it may seem minimal but as a collective, there is so much amount of food that is wasted everyday even though the temples are now trying to constructively use them. The Divine doesn’t need your offerings. She does not see the amount of money or resources you can offer to her to seek her blessings. She will grant your wishes otherwise as well. She sees your intention behind her prayer and even more than that, your deeds because your deeds determine your outcome.
You have become so blind in religion that you don’t even identify your deity now. Stop contradicting your own good notions. Stop harming one of her creations as you do just to please her. Use your wit and intuition, your discretion before following any of such scriptures. Your desire to meet Goddess and make her happy and you yourself say that children, especially those in need, are a form of God itself. That is reason why you organise kanjak during Navratri. Practice that daily. Whenever you feel the need to offer your Lord with some food or something to drink, offer it to a child who is unfortunate to have it for herself or himself and will gladly accept it. You may never know that your Lord may be residing in the world in the form of a human and you may miss the opportunity that you have been waiting for because you believe in those scriptures who forget to remind you that the Goddess resides within all. Wastage of food doesn’t make the Divine happy— not now, not earlier, not ever. Vidus bhava!