Does Old-School Rule?

  • Posted on
  • By Andrew Mackie
Does Old-School Rule?

I was invited to be a guest answering questions at the Community Foods ‘Community Corner’ over the weekend. It was a great time talking to all kinds of people about health and food politics, and, of course, about where our concerns for a clean home environment and lifestyle fit within the conversation.


(I was also grabbing some interview clips for a new internet radio show/podcast we’re about to launch… If you have questions you want answered ‘on the air,’ or think you would make a good interview guest, email me back and we’ll discuss…)


 But one question almost stumped me.


She asked:


‘What is it that you’re most excited about in what you’re doing?’


I had to think for a few seconds. I’m excited about most parts of what I do.


I could choose a product we sell. One of the sexy ones, like the recycled tile. Or one that makes the biggest difference, like the mattresses.


But this didn’t seem like the right angle. My excitement jumps from day to day, from one thing to another.


And, to channel ‘Michael Bolton’ in Office Space, I kind of like them all…


After some thought, it came to me.


What I’m most excited about is that, the further we get down this learning journey, the more we realize our profound connection to history, quality, and craft.


The more we seek health and purity, the more we find we end up looking at old, traditional, tried-and-true, ways of farming, producing and making things.


Is this just nostalgia? Seeing the past through rose glasses?


I’ll be the first to admit, I tend to like old stuff. I like taking pictures with old cameras. I like picking up an old book. I like being in old buildings.


(And we can debate whether old cameras take better pictures than the latest digital innovation…)


We can probably even debate the definition of ‘better.’


But when it comes to some things, there’s just no debate.




For example, if we compare a Palladian Villa, built and loved 500 years ago, still standing and loved today, to today’s houses, pretty much any metric will lean heavily towards the old Italian house.


It would rank better for durability, beauty, healthy indoor environment. And so on.


(frankly, I don’t think we love most of the buildings made today. And they certainly have no chance of being around in 500 years.)




And if we compare pure linen bedding, made and farmed in the same way, by the same family, that was making them 150 years ago, to some of today’s high-tech (ie. Polyester) fabrics, it’s just not even fair.


Compared to it’s synthetic counterpart, pure linen is softer, more comfortable, better looking, doesn’t stink, won’t overheat your, and there are certainly no fears of weird stuff leaching into your skin. Etc etc etc.



These are easy examples, obviously. And I could go on. But you get the idea.


The point is, it’s exciting that it’s ok to love things! That it’s, in fact, better. In many different ways.


It’s exciting that we don’t just need to talk about which chemicals aren’t in something. (still important to know…)


We can actually get excited about how it’s made, how it feels.


We can love the experience around us. Like a fine wine. Or an amazing farm-to-table dinner.


What do you think? Does old-school rule?


What’s got you excited these days?