Sunday, July 17, 2016

Specialization and Taste: Wheat Terroir and Gertrude Stein

Modern Farmer has a long piece about wheat, specifically people trying to de-commoditize it, by creating niche markets.  "Wheat is wheat is wheat" is not true, contra Gertrude Stein's roses, it turns out, if it's a landrace which can carry a certain aura, and which is grown organically.  It's rather like my supermarket's cooler--you wouldn't believe all the different beers now stocked.  It's the "long tail" of the internet, where there's more and more variety available in books, but the average sale per book is smaller and smaller (think of all the self-published books).  It's a reflection of the rise of the upper class, not just the 1 percent but the 5 or 10 percent who have the money to buy the varietals.

I know I've commented before on the amount of differentiation in our consumer society, probably using the example of jeans, but I'm too lazy in the heat to search out my previous words of wisdom.  Trust me--that was a much much better post than this.  :-)

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