Why My Stuff Breaks and My Potatoes are Lumpy

It really frustrates me these days that products are so disposable. When I say products I mean everything; from clothes to battery chargers to kitchen utensils.

I am more than happy to pay a fair price for everything I buy but I also expect the product not to break the first, second, third or even one hundredth time I use it.

For example, not long into mashing some potatoes recently I knew something wasn’t quite right. As I lifted the masher out of the bowl of still intact potatoes, I realised the pressure I had been applying wasn’t mashing at all but instead bending the handle at 90 degrees.

Now I want to point out too that this wasn’t some cheapy shop potato masher either as I’d decided to fork out a bit extra money thinking it could be my masher for life.

Is that such a hard concept to grasp?


This is the second potato masher I have broken in my life. I know what you’re thinking – what the hell are you doing to your potatoes? I swear, nothing but standard use of a potato masher happening here and yet they break.

Why? Because sadly these days, no manufacturer in their right mind would build a product to last a lifetime. These products are intended to break so I’ll be straight back to buy another as replacement, keeping the wheels of the world and economy spinning. Any consideration for the energy and resources used to create the original, now useless product (which would normally go straight into landfill) comes a distant second to creating the demand for more and more products, each one requiring the same energy and finite resources to be expended once again.

It’s a sad concept but one that sails too close to the truth to be wrong.

The following fantastic video from Story of Stuff gives a great outline on how the world works and why I will probably never find my once-in-a-lifetime masher.

What experiences have you had where products have broken down well before what you would consider an acceptable life?

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