The Source

These people—who may well include you and me—are eating bread made of air, and so, in a sense, are made of air as well.

Isn't this supposed to be "made from air" because the air is not visible from the product "us."

Like, "This desk is made of wood."・・・This is OK because wood is visible. "Cheese is made from milk"....This is OK because milk is not visible.

But the sentence above goes against this rule. Why?


1 Answer 1


It's not a requirement that a component be visible to use made of. A penny is made mostly of Zinc even though you can't see it because it's covered with a thin coating of copper.

Made from should be used when the ingredient is altered during the construction. Cheese is made from milk because the milk doesn't stay milk inside the cheese even though one of the inputs to the process is milk.

A desk is made of wood because the wood is still in the form of wood in the finished product.

Your sentence may be an oblique reference to the old adage, "You are what you eat."

  • But air is transformed, i think...
    – user2492
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 4:07
  • 1
    From my interpretation of your sentence I don't think the author's intention is literal- the key is in her use of in a sense which means, "I know they are not literally made of air, but in the sense of "you are what you eat", since they've eaten it, they must be made of it.
    – Jim
    Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 4:21

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