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May 05, 2009


Devin Rose

I would assert that there is benefit in growing and eating food that is not mass-produced, and not just cheese or beer but also beef and chicken and pork and vegetables. The new agrarian movement, or sustainable farming movement, or local foods movement, is all about non-mass-produced foods.

I made a post on this topic a few days ago: http://www.devinrose.heroicvirtuecreations.com/blog/2009/05/02/unconventional-farming/


Hear Hear! Bread and Beer that are mass produced have to have their flavors stabalized so that the end product will always taste the same.

When making these goodies at home you don't add any special chemicals to stabalize the flavor - hence day old bread tastes different then hour old bread, and 6 month beer tastes different (better) than 3 month beer.

jim janknegt

Amen brother.. preach on!

Johannah Erickson

"I hope, at some point, that more people will see the real virtue in (for instance) owning a half dozen hand-thrown coffee cups rather than two dozen cheaper, mass produced (and pretty much disposable) cups from a mass market retailer."

-- just as long as those hand-thrown coffee cups are the kind you can drink from without throwing out your arm (not like the ceramic cups I made that feel like you're lifting a dumb-bell.)

Tim J.


I am aware of only two surviving pieces of hand-thrown ceramics from my college days, and they could both serve well as boat anchors, or maybe a counterweight for a trebuchet.

If I have any natural gift for throwing on a wheel, it is buried so deep that I was unable to uncover it in an entire year of ceramics classes.

I am now happy to leave it to more skilled artisans. One can't do everything.

I don't suppose I'll ever be a rock star now, either...


Meh... we already have too many rock stars.

"A beer that tastes as much like nothing as beer can."

With your kind permission, I am going to use this line often from now on.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Tim,

It might shock you to know that I have been a closet distributionist for the last twenty-five years, so I don't disagree with your sentiments. in fact, Io constantly bemoan to my students how the do-it-yourself industry is essentially tanking in the U. S. because people want mass produced things.

That being said and realizing that cheese, wine, and bread are all the products of artisan workmanship, music and art gain their value, in part, because of their scarcity in a way that bread does not.

There is a personalized art to making bread, but once the recipe is completed, bread is expected to be made in more than one loaf. A painting is not. There are knock-offs, to be sure, but they are not the same as the original and cannot survive a test for originality. We have art forgery, but no bread forgery. Art is displayed in a museum; bread is not.

Art is, supposedly, a unique expression, not only of the indivdual, but of things that are common to man. The process of making things is unique to man and som personalized bread-baking falls into that, but the bread expresses a preference of the individual moreso than music, which has to go beyond itself, ideally.

Thus, bread, by its very nature, can survive being mass-produced in a way that art cannot.

I'm still probably not clear enough. Feel free to criticize so I can clarify, further. We do not substantially disagree. I just think that the art of bread-baking, while an art, is not an art-form and has less stringent conditions for cultural adaptation than the visual or performing arts. I do agree that there is something called culinary art, but then again, the product of the art is eaten and it satisfies the stomach more than the mind, although both music and cheese may satisfy the soul.

The Chicken

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