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Winona Flour: 1940

Winona Flour: 1940

July 1940. Benton Harbor, Michigan. "Baker at the House of David religious community." Acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Hiding place

I’m 62 now and I’ve had a beard since age 16, so that’s 46 years of facial hair, and I’ve never had anything hide in it. Nothing has ever crawled in, nor has anything ever crawled out. Granted, the longest I’ve gone without trimming it is a year, so I’ve never reached House of David magnitude like our baker friend here, but I am certain he is not transporting any snails or rodents or larvae of which he is unaware.

That's a Wino-no

This picture taps into my deepest phobias regarding food prepared by anyone other than myself, in my own kitchen, or by select few others (like for example my own mother) in their kitchens. (I handily suspend this when I have an opportunity to grab a pecan waffle at Waffle House. At least there, everything's out in the open.). Aside from this baker's far-from-pristine hands, the flowing beard could contain ... well. I don't even want to say what could be hiding in it, that could end up in the bread. Just no.

Safety net

Somewhere between this extreme of long scraggly beard hairs hanging over the batter and the current rage for nets of all kinds on even the shortest stubble of your serving person (including plastic gloves on all food handlers) must lie a happy, reasonable median where common-sense standards for food handling ought to exist. Myself, I have no problem with clean hands kneading dough or otherwise preparing food. I feel very sorry for all those forced to wear gloves for every aspect of food prep.


It looks like the baker might have done a shift over at the Garage of David prior to his shift at the bakery.

You Needa Beard-net

No facial hair allowed in the batter!!

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