Discover more from The Fresh Letter
De-influencing, kitchen edition
Don't buy these gadgets!
How are you? How’s your kitchen? I’m over here in mine thinking hard about TikTok’s latest trend, de-influencing. If you’re not wasting hours a day scrolling like I am (whoops), here’s a quick explainer: creators are shifting more and more toward producing videos geared toward curbing overconsumption instead of promoting it. They’re telling us not about the latest dupe for a popular concealer that we simply must buy for ourselves because it will absolutely change our skin and our lives (link! in! bio!!!), but instead about how we can definitely just skip buying that product, along with a bunch of others that are probably not worthwhile, because if we’re honest, the latest hot concealer is definitely not the thing that’s going to change our lives in any meaningful way. De-influencing, rather than influencing, get it? This is a great, thoughtful summary if you want to hear more.
The trend’s been especially popular in the beauty industry, and I’ve also scrolled by a few fashion girlies take a stab at it, but I haven’t really seen anyone apply the framework to home and kitchen items.
So today, I’m throwing my hat in the de-influencing ring with some kitchen goods I think you can absolutely skip.
Now, I’m not saying I’m impervious to being influenced (my kitchen is green!), nor that I, myself, am not a direct contributor to influencer-driven overconsumption (hello, Target ads!). But I strive for a balanced approach as best I can—I prefer to buy things second hand, do my best to avoid impulse purchases, and over the years, have developed a keen eye for kitchen items that are simply not worth the hype.
Let’s take a peek:
The Our Place Always Pan
The idea for today’s newsletter came to me a few days ago while I was on a neighborhood stroll and happened upon one these extremely trendy pans discarded in a sad little heap of trash on a Brooklyn Heights stoop. I thought to myself, gee, I’m so glad I never pulled the trigger on purchasing one of those. But I’ve been very, very tempted by their beautiful colorways, promises of long-lasting non-stick cooking, and perfectly fitted steamer baskets on multiple occasions.
Luckily, this pan cannot go from stove-top to oven, which is a prerequisite for my pots and pans, so I was always a bit skeptical. And soon after I first spotted an Always Pan in a gorgeously art-directed Instagram ad a couple years ago, I started hearing tell that the non-stick coating wore off shockingly fast. Like, after a single use fast. For me, these two factors make this trendy kitchen item one I think you should avoid.
Disclaimer: I know a few folks who love their Always Pans. If that’s you, I’m so glad! Keep using her! And that goes for any of the other items on this list as well.
This is a kitchen trend I, unfortunately, fell prey to a few years back. It was back in my wellness-pilled days (ugh, diet culture) and I did make *zoodles* on a somewhat regular basis. But no matter which cooking method I chose nor how much delicious sauce I smothered them in, they were always a soggy, disappointing mess (duh, they’re not pasta). And there are so many delicious ways to prepare zucchini—turning it into something it’s not is just not the vibe. The tool has lived in the back of my kitchen cabinet collecting dust for over a year, but I’ll be clearing space for a new family member soon, so it will definitely get donated in the next few months. Everyone makes mistakes, the spiralizer is mine.
You know the ones—they usually come with a bulky wooden storage block and show up on wedding registries and thus, people’s countertops, far more often than they should. Most knife sets are full of filler knives and tools that you’ll never use (I have no idea why you’d need a “carver”, let alone a “petite carver,” and what’s a “turning fork?”). And the actually useful knives that you’ll find within these sets are often of a lower quality than I’d typically look for in a good, long-lasting kitchen knife.
I’m not going to recommend a specific product to you here because that would violate the spirit of my little de-influencing spree, but I will give you a framework for your future knife purchases. I firmly believe you can do pretty much anything in your kitchen with just three knives: a large chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a pairing knife. Honestly, you can probably skip the pairing knife if you want! Spend the money you would have spent on all those filler knives on upgrading one or all of these!
Okay, we’ve covered it. I’m curious, do you own and love any of these items? Always up for a spirited debate! Or are you considering a kitchen purchase but are not sure if it’ll be worthwhile? I’m happy to provide my two cents. Drop a comment or respond directly to this email with any thoughts/questions/de-influencing musings.
And as always, wishing you a lovely, well-fed week ahead.