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Old 10-03-2006, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let's face it, all this good food costs money...a lot more money than I'd be spending on mac&cheese and hot dogs. How do you deal with this? Is eating well only for the wealthy?

I guess I'm just realizing that I can't afford the pastured beef right now and feeling a bit upset about it.
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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Yeah....we are spending over $800 a month for only 2 people right now. AND dh is not working and I stay at home. Let's just say the Savings account is dwindling and I can't wait until his student teaching is over! Sigh...so expensive. However, when you think about how expensive major health problems are....could be cheaper?

Jessica, wife to Mark, homeschooling mama to Micah (2006), Noah (2009), Owen (2012) and another on the way this August (20014)
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Sigh. . . I struggle with this too. I love NT but sometimes I get so frustrated that traditional foods--which are after all mostly peasant food and ought to be the cheapest possible option--end up being so pricey. I especially struggle with this when DH rolls his eyes when I pay $5 for a pound of butter (I don't tell him how much more I could spend if I wanted to get the really good stuff).

I read a thread somewhere else that said that if you're deciding where to spend a limited amount of money, you should start at the top of the food chain. Good meat is more important than good veggies, according to that logic. I think that has a lot of merit, and that's where I try to focus my grocery spending. Meanwhile, I try every frugal grocery and cooking trick that I know of and hope and pray for the local food revolution to really kick into gear.
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:36 PM
 
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:

I make quality food a priority. I feel like it really, truly does come down to the idea of "pay now, or pay later" ... and I'd rather find ways to pay now and perhaps save my children from future illness, or at least give them a jumpstart in combating any such illness. Not to mention that I, personally, want to be around for as long as possible, so I feel like I am doing what I can to safeguard my own longevity, much in the same way that working to live a "natural" lifestlye does in general (or so I believe).

Having said that, I still feel a lot of guilt when I feed myself or my family (especially my family) something that I know to be unhealthy. We've had a very difficult period in our lives over the last two months, and as a result have been eating a lot of what I consider to be junk. It just makes me cringe, keeps me up at night, and makes me feel absolutely like I am reversing so much of the good I have been trying to accomplish. But I know that every step in the right direction is a good one, so I just focus on that, and find ways to make more of those steps happen.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:04 PM
 
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I Just try to still eat cheap.Grassfed soup bones are cheaper than other cuts. They always have plenty of meat on them. I even use them in spaghetti sauce.It gives the sauce the good benefits like broth and lots of tasty meat.When I find the kerrygold butter for less than 3 dollars I buy a ton and freeze it. If you can afford it buy a side of beef. It makes it much cheaper.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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It pays off in the long run though with good health.

You will be able to enjoy old age with out popping prescriptions and planning visiting your grandkids with your all important Dr visits :
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:37 PM
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yup, our second greatest/largest bill besides housing is food. third is cars (gas, maintenance, etc). seriously, it's a lot of money.

but it's worth it. we have no medicines in the house and no medical bills. we have no health problems and what we're doing now prevents medical bills in the future.

so that's huge savings over the long term!
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by missi66 View Post
IWhen I find the kerrygold butter for less than 3 dollars I buy a ton and freeze it.
What is the normal price near you? At Trader Joe's here I think it is always $2.49. (I just looked a a receipt to double check) but I think it is usually $3.49 at a few other local stores.
Just curious.

Kaye

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Old 10-03-2006, 02:05 PM
 
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$800/month?! Really? On what? I thought we were spending a lot...:
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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I don't think eating the good food has to be cost prohibitive. Like missi66 said, soup bones are pretty cheap. Neck bones have wonderful meat and make great stock. Oxtail can be boiled twice for stock, can't get more thrify than that! I pay $2.50 for either one of those.

Since I started making food from scratch, using the whole chicken and using the bones from roasts I have found my food money actually going a littler further. A lot of that has to do with finding a great local meat source though. I really recommend eating local whenever possible.

I don't think the only tangible benefit is health in the future. When I eat a bowl of really good food that I made from superlative ingredients, I am not thinking of health in the future, I am licking my chops!
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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I have seen the kerrygold for 5 dollars.We do not have trader joes here but when we go to california I do stock up and have a ton in a flat ice chest bag in my suitcase. We will be moving to an area with costco soon and I hear they have kerrygold for cheap.I can't wait.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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we're spending about $500/mo on food for 3 people and we're not even really fully eating 'NT'. that is a lot of money for us, since i still SAH. i've decided it's better to try and eat our dairy and meat pastured organic than to spend the extra $$$ for just organic produce. at the health food store we go to, i still usually get things like oats, rice, and beans from the bulk bins. it's only a little more expensive than conventional (sometimes even cheaper) and we can afford that. organic produce on the other hand is...:

they do have an organic produce coop though that i've been wanting to join, but it's $50 annual fee and they have produce delivered weekly $27/mixed bag of produce. i thought that sounded pretty decent but dh and my father both thought that was extremely expensive. we may join that coop though in a couple of months if we ever have the money to spare to be able to pay the annual fee.

i was also thinking about buying some of our items from Ozark Organics Coop, but they weren't doing any deliveries the last time i checked because of some business matter. (like moving to another warehouse or new management or something.)

i'm also thinking about doing some potted plants next spring, since growing some of my own produce would be cheaper than buying, although i don't know how much of a dent it would really make in our grocery bill...

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Old 10-03-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Yeah....we are spending over $800 a month for only 2 people right now.


DH and I spent $1000 one month recently on eating out, convenience foods, and meals to go. That was before I started eating better though and learned about NT. Perhaps we'll actually save some money now.

Kim
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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Dh and I also take the theory of pay now ... our food bill is quite high each month, but we know it's worth it. And, if compared with the cost of eating out, if anything we'd break even if not save by eating quality food in-home. (For instance, I pay $7.25 for a pound of ground, organic, pastured-bison at the farmer's market, which sounds expensive; but I can make dinner for us all and usually have a little left over for dh's lunch the next day ... all cheaper than the cost of *one* person's meal out, or as I put it to my dad, cheaper than buying a steak.) Our commitment is to our health, and therefore other things might take a back-seat like going out, going to the movies ... we don't have cable, my mom pays for my cell phone (because we didn't want to try to budget for it and she didn't want me without), etc.

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Old 10-03-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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Let me clarify on that $800 bill.....

I think the reason we spend so much now is that we are getting our raw milk and butter and honey from a co-op. I'm not sure, but I think they charge a lot. It's $14 a gallon for raw milk and $15 a pound for butter. Raw cream for $16 per quart on the occasion that I actually get it. And the raw, unheated honey is $12 for a quart. Eggs $4.50 a dozen. Maybe these are the usual prices, but it's not hard for us to drop over $100 per week on just those items. And then we still have to buy meat, veggies etc etc etc. We don't even buy ANY convenience items and our bill is outrageous.

We're hopefully moving in a couple months and I'm hoping to find cheaper sources. We might move to Northern California (let's pray the interview goes well). Am I wrong in thinking we can get better prices there?

Jessica, wife to Mark, homeschooling mama to Micah (2006), Noah (2009), Owen (2012) and another on the way this August (20014)
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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I am making a price book, I shop at about 4 stores plus online plus from a co-op. I buy as much in bulk as I can. I make as much from scratch as I can. I hope to start a garden this spring. Look into buying straight from the source whenever you can. (Like I bought a jar of raw local honey from a little HFS here and now I'm going to call the number on hte label and see if they sell in larger quantities, etc.)

oh, I'm spending about $550 a month right now, but we are not completely NT yet and I'm not done finding the best places for my money yet either. Pre-NT and pre-organics I spent about $200/month. We are a family of 4.

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Old 10-03-2006, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jrose_lee View Post
Let me clarify on that $800 bill.....

I think the reason we spend so much now is that we are getting our raw milk and butter and honey from a co-op. I'm not sure, but I think they charge a lot. It's $14 a gallon for raw milk and $15 a pound for butter. Raw cream for $16 per quart on the occasion that I actually get it. And the raw, unheated honey is $12 for a quart. Eggs $4.50 a dozen. Maybe these are the usual prices, but it's not hard for us to drop over $100 per week on just those items. And then we still have to buy meat, veggies etc etc etc. We don't even buy ANY convenience items and our bill is outrageous.

We're hopefully moving in a couple months and I'm hoping to find cheaper sources. We might move to Northern California (let's pray the interview goes well). Am I wrong in thinking we can get better prices there?
:

We pay 2.5 for a gallon of raw whole milk
We pay about 23 for a gallon or raw dark honey
Eggs are free range and if we bought them would be a 1 a doz but being they are our chickens who knows what they cost us
We buy grass fed beef burger for about 2 a lb

We live in Idaho but may be moving to California so I will be curious to see what the prices of stuff is there.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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It is very expensive! But I feel like my the health of our family is worth it. I look around and see so much obesity and sickness. My grandfather is about to start dialysis because of kideny failure resulting from diabetes. I just hope I can save my family some heartache by preapring healthy foods.

We have recently purchased a grass-fed calf. It was 257lbs of meat. It cost about 2.43 per pound. It was expensive on the front end, but it will be a lot cheaper in the long run.

My dad is a hunter. Deer season is coming up here. He will kill a couple of deer for us and we will have those processed as well. If you know a hunter, that is an easy way to get some healthy, inexpensive meat.

I also found a website that listed the top 12-15 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residue. I make it a priority to buy these most contaminated ones organic. But if money is tight, I buy the other ones non-organic.

If space is available plant a garden. Nothing like fresh, free veggies.

I found a place to purchase organic raw milk for less money than I was purchasing the organic brands in the store. I hope to be able to make yogurt, buttermilk and butter from this.

The best way I have found to ensure buying healthy food: I started cooking this way and now my husband does not like eating the old way.
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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wow, the high is high and the low is such a blessing. We are in the same boat and i do not buy organic normally. I can't seem to get under 200 a week, and i make as much from scratch as i can. i have six to feed and we don't eat out for any evening meals, and us at home not at all. We consume fresh fruit like its going out of style, and then raw milk and grassfed is crazy priced. But we all eat a lot. Next year i hope to have a garden that i can really work on. you guys make me feel a little better.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:01 PM
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we're at about $200/week or 10 days.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:24 PM
 
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We are usually under $100 a week for food. I get my raw milk from the farm for $6 per gallon. We just began a coop of 6 families allowing us to purchasing whole pasture chickens & free range beef from local farms at a slight discount for buying large amounts. This should also help our bill. I stock up duing sales & love the bulk bins at the hfs. We also joined a CSA but I'm honestly not finding that to be very cost effective

We also have a Frontier coop which I highly reccomend if you are using hfs detergnets & skincare type stuff to open a Frontier account you just need 10 families & $10 membership fee, so only $1 /family. We order just about every month & when you spend $250 shipping is free! We only order if we have a large enought order for the free shipping. We get Dh's organic, fair-trade coffe from there too, spices, teas. I spend about $50/month on Frontier.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:28 PM
 
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I found my sources for raw honey and real eggs just by driving around in the country outside the city I live in. The eggs are 75 cents a dozen if I want to drive 15 minutes or $1 a dozen 3 minutes away. The honey is $8 a quart and about 15 minutes away. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

To me, the eggs are the best NT deal possible. Good, real protein. And it's nice to get to see the chickens the eggs are from.

Overall, yeah, it's a lot of money, but with our health insurance a regular doctor's visit is $100, so it's all relative.:
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:01 PM
 
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We spend about $100-120 a week at the store, and usually $20-25 at the farmer's market on meat, eggs, and some produce. I usually do ok if I meal plan. I guess it works out to $600 a month on groceries for a family of 3. This month however has been really bad since I am going thru the 1st trimester, and I don't want to cook anymore. I would like to get it down to around $400-500. Then I would be happy!

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Old 10-03-2006, 09:56 PM
 
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We also spend about $600/month for a family of 3. I pay $4.19/lb for a mix of 80/20 beef/beef liver, $2.50 for a dozen eggs, $10 for a quart of raw honey, $2.50/pound for chickens, $7.00 for a gallon of cow's milk for DH and I am so happy I just found goat's milk for $4/gallon. (All of our meat, eggs and dairy is from pastured animals.) Our grocery bill is our second largest monthly expense.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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It's so interesting to see what everyone pays for what--there's a real mix out there. Our #s--

$7 for a gallon of organic raw milk
$6/lb for organic pastured beef (would be less if we could buy a side, maybe next year since we're getting a chest freeze)
$4/lb for organic raw milk cheese
$3/doz for pastured eggs

We split a CSA share, and I edit the newsletter to offset the cost, so that's about $200 for the season.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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I make compromises when I have to. I avoid processed junk and unhealthy oils. I buy organic butter, cream, and yogurt. I don't buy all organic produce, flour, sugar, etc. I have yet to find a source of kosher and organic chickens or beef, so I purchase the "regular" kosher meat and prepare it in NT ways. I buy a lot of bones for broth making, as it's much cheaper than buying "regular" cuts of meat. Frozen raw chicken livers are pretty cheap as well.

ETA I spend about $500-$550 a month for the 4 of us, and $430 of that comes from food stamps. I've sucessfully kept my food budget under $430/month in the past, but that was before discovering NT.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:40 AM
 
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We just got our copy of NT and so we haven't really started paying a ton for food yet... we've been in a CSA all summer so that was $400 for fresh organic veggies for five months plus a dozen eggs every other week from the CSA. We have apple trees in our backyard. We get a gallon of raw milk every week for $6 a gallon. We just bought $50 worth of fresh wild Alaskan salmon through the CSA for $6.50 a lb.

I don't know what we're going to do after the CSA is over though. We were lacto-ovo vegetarians partially BECAUSE we couldn't afford meat (and because we don't want to support most of the meat industry with their terrible practices and unhealthy additives and whatnot). So now we'll start back in with meat slowly (so we can get used to it again) and as cheaply as we can possibly find the decent meat for...

We don't splurge on STUFF; we splurge on good, healthy FOOD

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Old 10-04-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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well before i tell you what i spend, i'll tell you an article i read recently that helps me justify it. it was in natural home magazine--it said that the price of non-organic food is unrealistically low. in 2004 we spent less than 10% or our annual income on food in america, compared with 23% in 1929 and 24% curretly in mexico. the article says we pay twice for food--once at the store and once to the ira. and they government pays farmers not to produce (this pisses me off so much). so i feel like i'm doing some sort or very expensive (and possibly non-effective) activism but not buying conventional. the author also says that organic middlemen "happily take advantage of the laws of capitalism and charge as much as they can get." which is often true--whole foods makes so much more than even a place like walmart per square foot of store. so, as pps have said, buying straight from the farmer is best and cheapest.

tho i pay $7/gallon of raw milk currently, tho i could get it for closer to $5 (plus membership) if i knew i were going to be living here long enough to rejoin a buyer's club. i get p-f ground beef for 5.29/lb at my hfs. sometimes i buy the organic roast beef at whole foods--it's like 16.99/lb!!!! but it's very good. but prices at our farmer's market are so good, and one farmer even lets you email her what you want and come pick it up at her house the next day!!! i'm going to miss that. i get my mom to buy pasture fed eggs in providence for $3.50--they are pricey but the prettiest eggs i have ever seen. sometimes my sil gives me her pastured eggs for free, but she raises them humanely and they're getting pretty old and don't lay as much lately. i so want my own chickens......

last month i spent at leat $1900 for a family of four, plus two dogs who get mostly raw meat. (i just added up the credt acrd biil, so maybe i shopped on the first and last day of the month and the biil is off by $300 or so--plus i stock up during sales--but i didn't include eggs/milk/ farmer'ss market in that). jeez. i don't think i ususally spend THAT much......... we spend more or about as much as we do on our mortgage, we take one vacation to see family a year, drive one car, don't have cable or go see movies or eat out.... i guess we sacrifice toeat this way, but we're happy (used to have issues with depression), so it doesn't feel like we're sacrificing.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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To kind of go off of what nicolena was saying, we have decided to forgo most all grocery shopping (especially after reading a couple of specific chapters in The Untold Story of Milk). We are seeking out a in-state source of pasture fed beef to buy 1/4 of a steer, in-state pastured whole chickens, and are buying more and more at the local farmer's market. We are also doing a buyer's club for our raw milk, so it will be shipped directly from the dairy to us. Our monthly bill will be about $800/month, which includes the minimal supplements I've been stream-lining for us. Next to our mortgage, that is our largest out-put of money. But, knowing that we will be directly supporting farmers and reducing much of the middleman (not to mention basically giving up completely on anything commercially grown or sold), we feel really good about the money spent.

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Old 10-04-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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and they government pays farmers not to produce (this pisses me off so much). so i feel like i'm doing some sort or very expensive (and possibly non-effective) activism but not buying conventional.
I like the way I've heard others put it (Michael Pollan?) - one person who stops buying industrial foods may not impact the international agribusiness companies and their processors, but it will make a BIG impact on the local farmer they buy from. At it's heart that's why it's so important, even if it's more expensive in the long run (plus the fact as nicolena mentioned that you are actually paying the REAL cost of the food).

We probably don't spend as much as some do. We tend to prioritize. Since the milk we buy is just about $7 a gallon (organic, pasturized, non-homogonized) that's solely for my 19 mo old ds. Dh and I just drink water. I try to buy the same milk for making yogurt, but sometimes when money is extra tight I'll go with rbgh free conventional milk. I've been trying to make as much as I can from scratch so we tend to shop the perimeter of the store and focus heavily on the bulk section - just call me the bulk queen!!

Lately we've been at around $380 for a family of three. We just started along the NT path, but we're hoping to stick closer to that number (and eat out less). We're looking into a farm share of meat from a local farmer which may make our budget increase slightly, but definitely worth it!

ETA: I should say so far for this week meat wise I've only purchased A 6LB 100% grassfed chicken from a farmer I know at the farmer's market. So far we've had roasted chicken for dinner one night, had chicken salad for lunch today, the bones and other remnants are in a pot making stock, AND I have the remaining roast chicken meat portioned up for two more dinners. $14 for the chicken and it's gone a LOOOOOONNNNG way - much longer than anything we ever had in our veg days!
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