Never trust a doctor who's plants have died.
Agreed, it boils down to convivence, and scale sometimes. If your doing a few plants, it might not be worthwhile, whereas if your doing a bigger spread, it can end up amounting to an arm and leg.I totally agree with your home brews. I am in the city and with traffic and my schedule saving a couple cents a gallon and brewing my own formulas is not really practically. I believe with the Athena Pro stuff I am around 6 cent a gallon. It just does not make a ton of sense to me right now to go out and buy and blend at home.
I am very familiar with the podcasts but I also have knowledge about who makes the stuff for Athena. I realize everyone of the nutrient companies would like you to think they have the ability to manufacturer the products and blend to the end product but the truth is there are fewer than you might think. Secondly, go to their website and try to find out if they have a facility. They do not even have a listed address. Most of these nutrient companies are just middle men, I use the product and I have nothing against the line but I do firmly believe they are subbing out the manufacturing. If you really want to get down to the bottom of things start looking at the line of liquid and you will quickly see if you compare them to the grow more line they are watered down.
I think much of this stuff is being contracted outside the country, (China) actually. Then simply brought in as bulk, then packaged locally here. I agree, virtually nobody is investing into the infrastructure, or lab equipment to make any of these formulations. Cause the mass infrastructure already exist. There focused on pretty packaging, and nifty sales pitches, marketing strategy, nothing more. It's all smoke and mirrors.
It's all done by big Ag, then sent further down the pipeline, with each partner taking it's cut.