Environmental benefits of fried bread

Last week I completed my advanced training in TRIZ at the beautiful Leighton Hall and became not only a TRIZ champion but a fully fledged member of the Oxford Creativity team.

I then proceeded directly from the bottom of the Lake District to the Butlins Rock and Blues festival where a great time was had by one and all. During my stay in the camp I couldn’t help but try to apply my newly gained TRIZ skills to look for ways to improve an important part of the Butlins system.

Now it just so happened that two of my friends with me were directly worried and concerned about the amount of fat that can end up in the water supply of a holiday camp such as this. One is a national freshwater expert and the other works for a water supply company.

In my mind I thought through the functional analysis of part of the system:

  • The SUBJECT = Thousands of sausages cooking
  • The ACTION = makes gallons of hot runny fat (that harm)
  • The OBJECT = The natural environment outside the camp

I then tried to work through the six ‘standard solutions’ to stop a harmful action being harmful:

  • Insulate the object from the harmful action. Ie long pipes or gullies that direct the fat way out into the sea?
  • Counteract the harmful action with an opposing field. Ie freeze the fat and fill skips with it for disposal?
  • Change the source of the harmful action to switch it off. Ie use low fat sausages?

Then I came across their chosen solution

  • Protect the object from the harmful action with a sacrificial substance which attracts the harmful action to itself.

What they do is that they dip triangles of bread into the hot fat and put one on each persons breakfast plate so the problem is taken home by the visitors. Brilliant so the harm is removed by another ‘sacrificial’ object within the same system.

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