I've been making sourdough bread and reading about it for a few years. It should be something that the basic science of is well-understood and also relatively easy to understand. I recently got a copy of Ed Wood's "Classic Sourdoughs." Great book. Purports to dispel a lot of "myths" about sourdough breads, including some commonly held wisdom about the ability to maintain multiple cultures in one house while maintaining the different starters' unique characteristics. According to Ed, the idea that you can't do this is nonsense, and his company has cultures that haven't changed one iota in 25 years.
Then I visited his website, sourdo.com. There, you can buy many different sourdough starter cultures. I'm fine with that, though I'm much more on board with trading and sharing starters (I maintain one culture, started from Carl's culture a few years ago). If you do the potentially costly footwork to find exotic starters, by all means, sell them. Whatever. What I don't get is this; they are selling 10 pound quantities of starter for $990.
I will admit to being newer at this bread thing than some, but am I mistaken in my understanding of starter? How would Ed's 10 pounds of culture for $1,000 be any different from the 10 pounds of culture that I could build over the course of just a few days with a small quantity of the identical culture that I bought from him for $15? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I just honestly don't get it. This dude sounds 100% legit, so I have to assume I'm missing something important.
Thanks in advance for your input.