You might want to go back and re-read the article. It's not about "triggers and situations". It's about the massive culture of food waste in the US and other places, why it exists and what can be done to solve the problem.
The article was kind of odd. It mentioned that only a very small portion of food waste was from people throwing out food at home. But then it went to focus on that for most of the article.
Part of the issue is that laws don't allow restaurants to donate unused food. Decades ago I worked on food service. One time they made too much food and they were not allowed to sell it the next day. One guy boxed it all the left overs and took it too a homeless shelter. He got yelled at a lot for it because it violated food safety laws.
On the one hand, I do think strong food safety laws are good. On the other hand, it seems like maybe they could be adjusted to allow food donation under some circumstances.
They talked about the wasted transport costs if food is thrown away but don't make a point for eating things produced locally, which reduces transport. People choose what they want instead of what makes sense, like apples from New Zealand when there is a local alternative. I don't agree with the advice to figure out how to eat fruit and vegetable peels normally discarded. Unless organic, discarding (composting would be better I guess) the peels is the best way to avoid pesticides and other chemicals sprayed on produce.
One thing that makes me crazy is that people spend so much money buying.... water. In the form of canned/bottled soda, beer, juice. So we are bottling and transporting water all around the country. Shelf-stable concentrates would make so much more sense in the case of juice but I don't see them at the store (only frozen available). The at-home soda machines make sense for those who MUST have soda. In Virginia we have a lot of local breweries for beer and vineyards for wine so that is an option.
We could also develop a better attitude about meals composed of a variety of small portions. When I fixed dad's lunch I called it "smorgasboard" - hard boiled egg, cheese & crackers, veg sticks, fruit. I frequently do this for myself.
Soup uses up all kinds of stuff. Pasta sauces, quiche and casseroles are very versatile for combining and using up leftovers.
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