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#1 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I didn't want to highjack another thread. So I thought I should start another. I also want to say to the OP of other thread, I mean not disrespect. But in a effort to understand and perhaps encourage we share instead of passing judgement. Ok get to the point.
I try my best to have my family eat well. An we are on a thin thin budget. I got the feeling of almost an elitist attitude towards those who do not eat totally organic or shop exclusively at those kinds of stores. I live near whole foods, but shopping there blows my budget out of the water.
I can't be the only one with financial challenges to eating organic. Is there an elitist attitude about how we eat, is this in my head? The judgement seems to come so quick towards those who don't. Almost a belittling for those who don't by all the "right foods" and receive public assistance.
By the way, if this is all imagined and in my head people help me out. Tell me your secrets to affordable organic eating
Really lets discuss this
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#2 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:10 PM
 
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I cant afford to buy all organic either, but I feel the same too

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#3 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:18 PM
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I don't care what other people think about what I eat or how I pay for it. That's their problem, not mine.
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#4 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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In this society we have confused food and sex with sin, money and health with virtue. Sad but true. The results? Culturally pandemic neurosis on those topics.

It's totally possible to eat well without eating organic. I pretty much ignore organic on most things and focus on having lots of diverse veggies, protein, and fiber. Organic is nice but it's really not the most important factor.
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#5 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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One has to shift one's mindset. Organic is not more expensive... it is the cost of food. Eat what is in season, stock up when it's on sale, utilize your food dehydrator and your freezer.

We eat primarily organic... but mainly because my kids are on Feingold. We don't eat fast food. My kids have also been healthier this year than they were before. We've had no Doctor's appointments for colds or other illnesses, which means I am saving money there. I spend more on food, of course, but not that much more.
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#6 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:47 PM
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One has to shift one's mindset. Organic is not more expensive... it is the cost of food. Eat what is in season, stock up when it's on sale, utilize your food dehydrator and your freezer.
I suppose that's easy to say if you live near a store that actually sells organic. Or if you have a big freezer or a food dehydrator. Not everyone is in that situation.
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#7 of 171 Old 01-07-2007, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Burgundy I hear you. But we are hardly ever in the doctor's office. Fortunately, my children have never had ear infections or diaper rashes. Our Ped always comments that she only see's us once a year for well child visits. So no money saved there.
No fast food because I don't have the money for the extra's.
Yes, my freezer is full. but I canlt keep things frozen longer than three months. Beyond that it creeps me out (my own issues there).
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#8 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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Because im on an island, the cost of food here is way expensive too.

I went to a farmers market here thinking I was getting some nice organic fruits and veggies and most of it was shipped over food from the mainland, not organic either.

I cant eat organic all the time. I know its better to choose the organic fruits and veggies though, but I cant do that all the time.

I love it when I get a bag of avocados or limes or mangos from someones tree! That's about as organic in the fruits/veggies I can get!

BUT, something deep inside of me refuses to buy non health food store bought peanut butter. Even one week when we were really poor and dh said get peanut butter-THE CHEAP STUFF! I just couldnt do it! Im a peanut butter elitist!
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#9 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:08 AM
 
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BUT, something deep inside of me refuses to buy non health food store bought peanut butter. Even one week when we were really poor and dh said get peanut butter-THE CHEAP STUFF! I just couldnt do it! Im a peanut butter elitist!
What's the advantage to health food store peanut butter? I buy the peanuts only kind at the grocery store - is there a step up from that?

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#10 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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I guess I should rephrase.

I will buy peanut butter from the grocery store sometimes, if its the natural ones. NOT the Jif's or Peter Pans, etc..
Sometimes, the health food store PB is cheaper than the Safeway or Foodland with the same natural brand.

I really need to learn to make my own peanut butter. 1 jar only lasts about 4-5 days.
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#11 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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I feel very sympathetic towards people that truly cannot afford to pay extra for organic food. I have been very poor in my own life in the past, to the point of having to choose between feeding my family or putting gas in the car to get to work the next day. So to anyone that is trying to make the op or anyone else feel guilty about the choices they make concerning food, wood or plastic toys or any other choice-back off!! It would be completely a surprise to meet anyone on this forum who doesn't have the best interests of their family, their children at heart. What else in the world would keep them coming back here to be subjected to the elitist and judgemental attitudes found within? Having said that, in all sincerity, I would like to explain why I buy organic whenever possible and support local Farmer's market. Besides the fact that the family is much more healthy in every way since we made the switch to organic, by changing our buying habits and supporting the small organic farmers, it is actually bringing the price of organic down for everyone.
30 years ago when organic food just came onto my radar, it was prohibitively expensive and hard to come by. Because of increased demand, the price of organic goods have come way down and availability has increased tremendously. Back then, you never saw organic for sale in the local market, like you do now. You had to go expensive "health food" stores and select from crummy looking, dried out vegetables and stale, inferior goods. Because the demand for organic has grown so much as people have become more aware of the downside of pesticides, gmo's and other modern methods of food production, the selection, quality and affordability of organic has expanded as a result. So part of that attitude you feel coming from an "elitist" is just the desire to support this process. The more people that purchase organic, the cheaper it becomes for everyone. HTH.
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#12 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BurgundyElephant View Post
One has to shift one's mindset. Organic is not more expensive... it is the cost of food.
If that's the case I won't be eating very many different types of vegetables. And I'll be eating the standard Northern European poor person's diet of pickled cabbage, beet soup, and potatos all winter.
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#13 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 12:58 AM
 
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I try to buy from farmers markets and I'd love to find a proper butcher. Buying locally is actually more important to me that buying organic, since frankly, buying non-organic locally is often better for the environment (and is often fresher) than buying organic that was airfreighted or shipped in.

That said, the cheap cost of food in this country is a huge reason for its wealth. I have lived in Africa. I have worked on nutrition projects in environments where fresh fruits and veg were only seasonally available and where meat was a once in a while treat. Sorry, I value all food now, after seeing the malnutrition which comes from the high cost of food.

I am not anti-organic - I personally think organic milk and eggs taste better than non-organic. But I really hate the self-righteousness that sometimes folks get about organic. And since everything is turning organic (I saw Organic Lucky charms at the grocery store to day...not kidding), it is becoming mainstream, and therefore more affordable to the masses.

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#14 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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utilize your food dehydrator and your freezer.


We live in a small (getting smaller everyday) 2 bedroom aprtment that costs 2 of my Dh's paychecks. the refrigerator came with the place and that freezzer can only hold just so much. they are small appliances. As for the food dehydrator...now where did I put that?

Anyway... I have a little list of fruits and vegies that best bought organic. I try to get things like apples at Whole foods and avocadoes and the snacky stuff so we don't get the trans fat.

My kids eat fruits and veggies (ok my 18 mos only eat melon) and most of our food comes Shop rite. I buy organic milk at whle foods b/c it is actually cheper than shop rite. I use coupons and every week keep my food bill close to 100 dollars. we can not afford to buy eerything organic so I try to make the organic stuff really count.

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#15 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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Im torn on this subject. We have a budget and I try to stick to that, so i do understand living within ones means. But the other side of me values the content of organic milk when my 2 girls and dh go through about 5 gallons in 1 week. If it isnt organic I fear the hormones and extras that are going into their bodies, but then the money side hits me. And who wants to pay $5.99 for 1 gallon of milk? Thats $1,557.40 a year on just milk alone.

I learned that certified organic farms are our best friends. You can get a whole box of organic veggies and fruits for about $19 that lasts almost 2 weeks. And they come to my door. Also farmer's markets would be a goldmine, IF i had the time to visit them on weekends.

I also wonder where people who are so snarky about organic foods buy from? If they are just buying it from Raley's or Safeway where they are sitting right next to the nonorganic produce, whats the point? REcent studies have shown that all the fertilizers and harmful chemicals on those products get onto the organic produce, and in theory defeats the whole purpose. They just passed a new law here in cali that organic and nonorganic MUST be seperated.

I think what we do is we decide whats most important to us. What do we consume the most of? Milk, chicken, eggs, cheese and beans. Therefor those are the items we buy organic. Everything else besides syrup and peanut butter, we buy from the normal store.

Also another thought on the organic debate. To be deemed organic, doesnt mean it is organically grown to the standards you would expect. It is becoming easier and easier to label items as organic. Some growers are now doing both. Sections of organic and others non, them shipping them all in together. But as long as their growing standards are met, they can slap onthe label of organic.

I don't know. In theory i understand the importance. And i really hope that sometime soon organic foods are almost comparable to nonorganics.

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#16 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:27 AM
 
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One has to shift one's mindset. Organic is not more expensive... it is the cost of food. Eat what is in season, stock up when it's on sale, utilize your food dehydrator and your freezer.
Organic apples and lettuce may or may not be more expensive.

Organic dairy and meats are definitely more expensive. A conventional supermarket and a Whole Foods market are both an equal distance from my house; I see the difference. The conventional store has its own line of organic products, which, although cheaper than "name brand" products, are still more expensive than regular stuff.
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#17 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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If that's the case I won't be eating very many different types of vegetables. And I'll be eating the standard Northern European poor person's diet of pickled cabbage, beet soup, and potatos all winter.
I think it's more important to eat a balanced, varied diet than to eat all organic. I try to buy locally grown organic food, but it's not always the best variety depending on the season.
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#18 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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It's possible around here at least to get hormone-free milk and veggie-fed eggs without spending the $5 on organic brands, fwiw. Many of the local producers have gone hormone-free due to popular demand. They don't pay the extra for certification though so you just have to call around and find out.
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#19 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Another bit of thought I want to interject is not just the organic debate, but why so much judgement towards those who don't.
I buy organic when I can afford to and I search for deals on organic milk and meats without hormones. But I have to add as my children get older their appetites are larger. My 13 stands 5'7" and weighs 115. So no he's not over weight none of my children for that matter. In fact he eats to a point that defies logic. Don't worry, ped says he is totally healthy.
I make lunch for my children to take to school everyday. They are not allowed to bring chocolate, candy or any sugary foods so I have to be creative.
Perhaps, I happen to be where food is over priced, but there is no price break here and I average $50and up in coupons. I go to Farmer's Markets. Spin it any way you please its a stretch for us to eat this way. We live in a country (no I am not bashing the USA) where many people can barely make a living wage to make ends meet. I find it worse to think someone would dare say they are less caring for their family because of their food choices. Maybe they are, but what gives another the right to judge?
Did any of you watch the Oprah show where poor families in the mountains of Tenn. were interviewed. People do what they have to do to survive. And those who are blessed with choices be grateful. perhaps you might be one katrina away from disaster. Suppose you needed assistance? Perhaps cashiers and other would judge you for spending so much on higher priced foods when they can barely make it. This judging thing just stinks all around.
And I suppose my statements are judging the judgers
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#20 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:47 AM
 
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Everywhere we have lived we have joined co-ops to get organic/pesticide-free or local produce at a reduced rate. We've also bought together with other families when it wasn't available locally.
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#21 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:53 AM
 
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Yinsum- Please know that some people are so insecure, that they would use anything to make themseves feel superior and that would include food choices. Please use your ignore feature if you find that someone here at MDC is trying to make you feel bad about your situation or any choices that you make on behalf of your family's wellbeing.
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#22 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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My family goes through 4 to 5 gallons of milk per week. The only way that I can see to have organic is to buy our own cow. Seriously. We've talked about it. We have some propery about 10 minutes away, but even that is kind of nuts to think about driving over there twice a day to milk a cow. So we've decided to just consider it again when and if we build on the property.
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#23 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:07 AM
 
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We eat mostly organic and are on a very tight budget. I have had to make choices to eat this way, but so far, it is working for us. Here's what we do:

First, I will be honest and admit that we buy a good many of our groceries at Walmart. They sell a lot of the organic food that we consider staples. (peanut butter, milk, cheese, cereal, sugar, flour, yogurt etc). Ethically, I am appalled by Walmart. I do not buy clothes, toys or household goods there. But what physically goes into my family's bodies (and their subsequent health) is more important to me than the working conditions of strangers. I feel guilty about it, but that's where we are right now.

The groceries that I cannot get at Walmart, I get either at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. Trader Joes is cheaper, so we go there first, but their produce is changable and they sometimes understock things. Between those two stores, we pick up supplemental things (eggs, crackers, soups, special treats like ice cream, snacks for DD etc).

We are lucky enough to have a local farmer's market that is open most of the year. We go early on weekday mornings and buy produce. I cook green beans, peas and other veggies from scratch instead of from a can or frozen package. Same with fruit whenever possible. We save a ton of money that way. When produce is out of season locally though, I am at the mercy of the grocery stores. I buy organic when I can afford it and conventional when I can't. I try not to feel guilty when it doesn't happen.

The last thing that works well for us, though merely by coincidence, is that DD and I are vegetarians. Meat is very expensive, so not buying it saves me a lot of money. A can of black beans, a jar of tahini or a container of tofu is much less expensive than a pound of meat. DH buys a bit of red meat for himself about once a month. Because he doesn't eat it often, he can afford to buy the better quality stuff from Whole Foods. Otherwise, he eats what we do. When he is really craving meat, he makes do with tuna, lunchmeat or something equally inexpensive. It isn't organic, but it is what we can afford and he is okay with it.

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#24 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:09 AM
 
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We eat all organic. It's very important to us. I don't judge those who don't, but sometimes the mere fact that I *only* buy organic makes those who don't assume that I am judging them, sort of like when they learn that I don't own a TV. All of a sudden, I'm offered unsolicited excuses, or, worse, snide comments.

I don't know what your experiences are, but I've felt that people judge me as judgemental, simply because I'm making different choices.
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#25 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:22 AM
 
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I eat and grow all organic. No matter how dire my budget has been organic food has always been a big priority. I do understand that there are some people who really can't afford it, but to me sustainable, healthy food is way more important than new clothes, cell phones, movie rentals, or any other non-essential items people pay for. So often I hear the "organic is so expensive" argument from people who have way higher standards of living than I do, and it is frustrating. If you are buying from a reputable source, organic is more expensive because it represents the true cost of food, providing a livable income for the smaller grower, paying for that grower to practice sustainable growing to preserve our precious water and soil resources. Non-organic food is cheap because it is subsidized (USDA spends about $20 billion in direct subsidies for wheat, corn, soy and rice) below the true cost of production to keep cost low. In the US and worldwide, topsoil erosion, water depletion and pollution (non-organic ag is responsible for %70 of water pollution according to the EPA) are reaching critical levels. Of course with the fossil fuel issue food needs to be organic, local and in season. Either we pay the real cost of food now or our children will pay it on a global level.

On a practical level a great way to make organic food affordable is to cook from scratch, focus on whole foods (veggies, fruit, beans, grains, etc, not the store lol), avoid prepackaged foods, buy in bulk... Usually organic produce and bulk items are only a little higher in cost. I focus most of my meals around soups which are very cost effective. As a pp said, eating in season is a great way to keep costs down. And you can use the sun or your oven to dry foods, canning is cheap and easy, and you can fit lots in a standard freezer. You can also watch sales and look for near the pull-date specials to buy lots of soup meat to freeze, or milk to make yogurt. Often if you form a relationship with your store they will set aside produce that is fine but blemished so they can't sell it and give it to you for free. If you know what you are doing, dumpster diving is another no-cost option. I did it when I had no money. If you are willing to search for it, most communities have CSAs (community supported agriculture) where you pay for a box of veggies (some also do meat, eggs and milk as well) delivered week at very low cost. In my area you pay about $350 at the start of the season and get a huge produce box weekly for 5 months. That amounts to $60 a month! And many people share a "share" and cut their cost. If you are willing to search many farms are not certified organic but farm organically and have very reasonable produce. A good place to start is to find some Slow Food people in the area or farmers markets. Many small farms are open to volunteers and would trade a days worth of weeding or harvesting for food. There are also many people doing cow or goat shares as a way to get raw, grass-fed milk reasonably priced and locally. You can also order bulk items from places like Azure Standard or Mountain Peoples. Of course my favorite way to keep food cost down is to grow or raise you own. Dig up your yard and grow a garden, raise a few chickens for eggs, plant some edible landscaping. If you don't have the space there are many community gardens in urban areas and you can actually grow a lot of greens or herbs on a window sill. HTHs, people can be elitist about many things, but it doesn't always make them wrong about the core issue.

ETA- Yinsum-I think one of the reasons people judge others' food choices is because where are food comes from effects all of us, and our future. Of course some people just like being snobs.
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#26 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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So often I hear the "organic is so expensive" argument from people who have way higher standards of living than I do, and it is frustrating.
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#27 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:34 AM
 
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I hear ya.
And I hate the attitude of: they spent all this money on junk food when there are poor starving children in Africa. I buy only organic food.
Well, organic food costs more than junk food, so that person is actually probably spending more money on food than the junk food eater, so how does that help the African kids anyway?
And it also drives me crazy when people feel so high and mighty because they buy the Annies mac and cheese, or whatever. Well, it is all good and well for your family, but the packaging is still there adn killing our planet.
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#28 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 02:54 AM
 
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We can't buy all organic, and our stores sell just a bit anyway, and there are no co-ops or farmers delivering to our door, so we just buy organic on the things that are most important to me. We buy organic milk, and yes it costs a ton, and any produce whose skin we will be eating like apples and berries. We buy organic yogurt, butter and cheese when on sale (when it is the same price as regular) and stock up that way. We buy conventinal crackers, breads, etc. That's the best we can do right now. I feel like the milk is the most important to me, so that is where I've focused.
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#29 of 171 Old 01-08-2007, 03:24 AM
 
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We eat all organic. It's very important to us. I don't judge those who don't, but sometimes the mere fact that I *only* buy organic makes those who don't assume that I am judging them, sort of like when they learn that I don't own a TV. All of a sudden, I'm offered unsolicited excuses, or, worse, snide comments.

I don't know what your experiences are, but I've felt that people judge me as judgemental, simply because I'm making different choices
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truedat:

I am happy and grateful to have the money to buy what ever type of food that I choose best for me and my family.

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