A Waste of Money, Time, and Space
Issue 13, Volume 111
By Erica Li
We’ve all accidentally stumbled upon the trashy infomercials that infest daytime cable and have resisted the temptation of the legal con. I always feel the urge to purchase that “life-changing invention,” but my common sense rescues me before I can press “order.” I understand why people buy these useless household gadgets even though they replace tasks that could be done with a knife in less than 30 seconds with a poorly made plastic appliance. However, we all need to take a stand and stop buying these idiosyncratic appliances, so the world can stop making them once and for all.
Take the famous three-in-one avocado slicer, which consists of a blade, seed-grabber, and avocado slicer. While it is a great idea in theory—having one appliance to perform so many functions—it contains many flaws upon closer inspection. First, the three-in-one’s blade is short and usually made out of plastic, which already makes its cutting abilities inferior to those of a normal kitchen knife. If the avocado isn’t ripe, you have to press hard with the knife to get it through the skin. Second, the seed grabber requires you to press extremely hard to properly grip the avocado seed, which mushes your avocado. The actual slicer leaves too much flesh behind and doesn’t give you those perfect avocado slices that slicer simps talk about. Rather, it is much easier to take your time and learn the knife skills you need to slice an avocado correctly.
These kitchen gadgets fail to perform their one specific purpose, which is foolish. For example, the hotdog slicer is a gadget in the shape of a hotdog that slices a hotdog into several pieces all at once despite the fact that most people eat hotdogs with a hotdog bun as a whole. It takes more time to align the hotdog with the hotdog slicer than to just slice it up with a knife. Though these gadgets may have a decent purpose, they can often be replicated with common items. The silicon grease container, created only to catch the bacon bits and save the grease, is sold for $15. You can easily use a Mason or a used pickle jar to achieve the same result at a much cheaper price.
Additionally, these kitchen gadgets indirectly contribute to predatory capitalism. Entertainment companies, such as Buzzfeed, specifically advertise kitchen gadgets on behalf of corporations like Amazon, Shopify, or Walmart. The media company even receives a commission every time a viewer buys a product that they recommend. Because of this potential for profit, companies will specifically target adults over the age of 55 as it is much easier to exploit the elderly, especially since they have a more difficult time researching and asking follow-up questions. Moreover, people buy these products due to smart marketing techniques, such as easy-to-read headlines or articles set up as trivia.
A month or two down the line, you will realize that there was no need to purchase these gadgets in the first place. By then, you will have three choices. Some foist them onto a friend or family member. The more benevolent might donate them to a charity shop. However, after enough regifting and donating, most will decide these knickknacks are not worth the effort and throw them into the trash. They then end up in a landfill or an ocean where the synthetic plastic takes thousands of years to decompose.
These so-called life-changing kitchen gadgets are a waste of money and time and contribute to our growing plastic waste. There is no need to purchase an appliance simply because an infomercial said to or it is trendy. It does not matter if the gadget has over 2,000 positive reviews on Amazon or if your favorite influencer is advertising it. Stop letting private companies that thrive off capitalism brainwash you into buying worthless items that are going to end up in landfills. Next time you're offered a four-in-one orange peeler, slicer, dicer, and juicer, just say no.