Joshua C.

When this unique essay prompt was brought to my attention I was instantly intrigued. In the United States inventions and inventors are put on a pedestal; consequently, often we analyze the benefits of innovation without taking into account negative repercussions on the physical, economic, and emotional health of our nation and the world. While I was pondering what invention the world would be better off without, I considered many devices ranging from dangerous to useless. As a matter of fact, guns were the first invention to come to mind when the question was posed. I know many would argue that guns are indeed the correct answer to the question; however, after giving it more thought, I decided that even guns serve a purpose, especially as a defense of the ideals we hold sacred in this country, from threats both foreign and domestic. I also decided that this response was too elementary, and I wanted to be more creative with my answer. The invention I finally decided on has quietly taken many lives and detrimentally transformed the health of our country: the deep fryer.

The truth is that the singular benefit of frying food (it tastes delicious) does not come close to counterbalancing the added health risk. It is popular knowledge that fried foods are unhealthy, but I decided to do some extra research into the topic to substantiate my answer. How many of us really know why they are unhealthy? The reason why fried foods pose a health risk is because many restaurants use cooking oils with trans fats, which are more easily reusable and add texture and flavor. Unfortunately the food absorbs these trans fats during the frying process, and, when digested, this trans fat has scary effects on our health. According to the American Heart Association trans fats contribute to the following: raises in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, drops in HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and increases in the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If everybody ate fried food with healthy moderation, then the deep fryer would not be such a threat. However, as it stands today we would certainly benefit from its absence. Every year 610,000 people die from heart disease in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. To put this in perspective, that means that heart disease is the leading killer of people in our country, and it is responsible for roughly one fourth of our deaths. This means that the deep fryer is affecting each one of us physically, emotionally, and economically. It’s damaging us physically by making us unhealthy and more prone to heart disease; it’s damaging us emotionally by causing us to bury more of our loved ones; it’s damaging us economically by hiking up our healthcare costs and by making us sicker and therefore, less productive. In conclusion, the fact that the world would be better off without the deep fryer is incontrovertible.