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Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime #168427
10/26/2018 11:37 AM
10/26/2018 11:37 AM
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11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition


Did you know that with proper storage techniques, you can have a lifetime supply of certain foods? Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that stored it. Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are you keys to success.

The best way to store food for the long term is by using a multi-barrier system. This system protects the food from natural elements such as moisture and sunlight, as well as from insect infestations.

Typically, those who store bulk foods look for inexpensive items that have multi-purposes and will last long term. Listed below are 11 food items that are not only multi-purpose preps, but they can last a lifetime!

1. Honey

Honey never really goes bad. In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible. If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change. Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey. Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.

Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)

2. Salt

Although salt is prone to absorbing moisture, it’s shelf life is indefinite. This indispensable mineral will be a valuable commodity in a long term disaster and will be a essential bartering item.

Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides

3. Sugar

Life would be so boring without sugar. Much like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container.

Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).

4. Wheat

Wheat is a major part of the diet for over 1/3 of the world. This popular staple supplies 20% of daily calories to a majority of the world population. Besides being a high carbohydrate food, wheat contains valuable protein, minerals, and vita­mins. Wheat protein, when balanced by other foods that supply certain amino acids such as lysine, is an efficient source of protein.

Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent

5. Dried corn

Essentially, dried corn can be substituted for any recipe that calls for fresh corn. Our ancestors began drying corn because of it’s short lived season. To extend the shelf life of corn, it has to be preserved by drying it out so it can be used later in the year.

Uses: soups, cornmeal, livestock feed, hominy and grits, heating source (do a search for corn burning fireplaces).

6. Baking soda

This multi-purpose prep is a must have for long term storage.

Uses: teeth cleaner, household cleaner, dish cleaner, laundry detergent booster, leavening agent for baked goods, tarnish remover

7. Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa

Adding these to your long term storage will not only add a variety to just drinking water, but will also lift morale. Instant coffee is high vacuum freeze dried. So, as long as it is not introduced to moisture, then it will last. Storage life for all teas and cocoas can be extended by using desiccant packets or oxygen absorbing packets, and by repackaging the items with a vacuum sealing.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

8. Non-carbonated soft drinks

Although many of us prefer carbonated beverages, over time the sugars break down and the drink flavor is altered. Non-carbonated beverages stand a longer test of time. And, as long as the bottles are stored in optimum conditions, they will last. Non-carbonated beverages include: vitamin water, Gatorade, juices, bottled water.

Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods

9. White rice

White rice is a major staple item that preppers like to put away because it’s a great source for calories, cheap and has a long shelf life. If properly stored this popular food staple can last 30 years or more.

Uses: breakfast meal, addition to soups, side dishes, alternative to wheat flour

10. Bouillon products

Because bouillon products contain large amounts of salt, the product is preserved. However, over time, the taste of the bouillon could be altered. If storing bouillon cubes, it would be best repackage them using a food sealer or sealed in mylar bags.

Uses: flavoring dishes

11. Powdered milk

Powdered milk can last indefinitely, however, it is advised to prolong it’s shelf life by either repackaging it for longer term storage, or placing it in the freezer. If the powdered milk developes an odor or has turned a yellowish tint, it’s time to discard.

Uses: beverage, dessert, ingredient for certain breads, addition to soup and baked goods.


"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861
Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #168428
10/26/2018 11:39 AM
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5 (More) Food Items That Last Forever

Sara Tipton
October 26th, 2018
ReadyNutrition.com


This article was originally published by Sara Tipton at Tess Pennington’s ReadyNutrition.com

When planning and storing food for emergencies or survival situations, we have long advocated incorporating foods that will last forever (or at least longer than you will). By doing so, this does double duty by boosting your emergency supplies, pantries, and your bartering power, as well as ensuring you are purchasing foods as frugally as possible.

Ready Nutrition - Bestselling The Prepper's CookbookIn The Prepper’s Cookbook, 25 must-have foods were explored in this best-selling book. These 25 foods are the foundation of your prepper pantry and used to make an array of foods. 11 of those 25 foods were what is considered “forever foods.”

Today, we are going to explore five more foods to add to your forever food pantries, and if stored properly, they will last forever. Best of all, many of them will serve multiple purposes beyond human consumption and this could give you a hand up should the SHTF!
5 (More) Forever Foods for Your Prepper Pantry

1. Distilled White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is actually not made by distillation at all, but made by the fermentation of the natural sugars found in either grains or fruit. Those sugars are converted to alcohol and the alcohol is then fermented a second time and it turns into vinegar by the production of acetic acid after the fermentation of ethanol, sugars, or acetic acid bacteria. Vinegar typically contains anywhere between 5 and 20% acetic acid by volume and is currently mainly used as a cooking ingredient, or in pickling. The mainstays of the category include white distilled, cider, wine, and malt have now been joined by balsamic, rice, rice wine, raspberry, pineapple, Chardonnay, flavored and seasoned vinegar and more.

Vinegar will slowly lose its concentration of acidity over time. The vinegar will absorb water from the air diluting its concentration of acetic acid. And over time, the acetic acid will break down or decompose leaving behind a less acidic product. Distilled white vinegar is perfect for marinades, sauces, and dressings, but because it will decompose and dilute itself, try to use fresh distilled white vinegar when pickling or making dressings, but those older gallon jugs of vinegar will work great as a cleaning solution. Distilled white vinegar is great to use to clean your house or add it to your laundry as a fabric softener! It is actually just as good at killing germs as bleach, according to a Colorado State University publication. Once 5% distilled white vinegar is heated to at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit it is as effective as bleach in treating Listeria Monocytogenes, E. Coli, and Salmonella.

You can also use distilled white vinegar as a fruit and vegetable wash! Try using 2 tablespoons of the vinegar to 1 pint of water. It is also great at removing lime stains from bathroom faucets. Every few weeks or so, I use distilled white vinegar to run through my essential oils diffuser. It acts as a cleaner and keeps my diffuser running great.

Its shelf life is almost indefinite. Its acidic nature makes it self-preserving. To keep distilled white vinegar virtually forever, store in a cool dry area and keep a lid on tight.

2. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is powder made from the starch in corn kernels and generally used as a thickener for sauces and gravies in the kitchen. But it can be used for so much more, including cleaning and medicinal uses.

Cornstarch can be used to help cool off a sunburn. A simple paste of cornstarch and water spread over a sunburn soothes inflamed skin. This paste on insect bites and stings. Use aloe vera gel instead of water to ramp up the soothing properties as well! Cornstarch will also help prevent chaffing. If you have sensitive skin and a tendency to chafe, simply dust a little cornstarch on your problem areas before dressing.

If you have a creaky spot in your hardwood flooring, try adding a sprinkle of cornstarch and then sweep. The superfine starch works itself into nooks and crannies, effectively stopping the noise. It is also great at cleaning up greasy carpet stains! If you have a greasy mess on your carpet, simply pour cornstarch over it and let it sit for 20 minutes. The cornstarch absorbs the grease and freshens the carpet. Just vacuum the powder away! Cornstarch is also an amazing window cleaner. Since its a super fine to the touch but naturally abrasive at a microscopic level, adding a tablespoon of cornstarch to your favorite window cleaner will make cleaning easier and leave a streak-free shine.

While cornstarch can go bad, that can only happen in very specific circumstances, so if you are willing to make sure it is stored properly, it will be perfectly fine for years. If the powder gets wet, it will go bad. It’s important to store cornstarch in a cool and dry place. If cornstarch cannot absorb water, it will stay good indefinitely.

3. Distilled Liquor

Distilled liquor is also not only useful by can be stored forever. It also has the added benefit of being a bartering tool, which comes in handy in the event of a societal collapse. The base liquors, such as brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whiskey, are typically the most stable distilled spirits because they do not contain any sugars. The more sugar a liquor has, the faster it will deteriorate. Bottles of base liquors can be stored for a very long time opened, although they may lose some flavor, they will keep indefinitely if they remain unopened.

When it comes to prepping, it is always important to keep in mind your trading and bartering power. Distilled liquors can definitely give you an edge when it comes to bartering. Other than perhaps ammunition, there may not be a better item to store to ensure you’ve got something others will want than some extra liquor. Whiskey is a great option to store for bartering while vodka can be used as in first aid.

Liquor can be used not only as a way of keeping wounds free from infection but for keeping nausea at bay and or for making dental work more bearable for the patient. Any liquor above 60% can be used as surgical alcohol and anything above 40% can be used to disinfect wounds for first aid purposes, not to mention medicinal tinctures.

4. Bouillon

Bouillon cubes generally contain enough salt to preserve them from spoilage, but the flavor (which, after all, is why you’re using them) may weaken, dull, and change over the years. But the bottom line is that they will last forever if they remain stored in a cool dry place! Bouillon cubes are used to add flavor to foods and can be invaluable in your prepping supply. Since they contain a high salt content, they will basically preserve themselves.

5. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup will also last forever if the bottle remains unopened and its kept in the cold. If you open the maple syrup, it can get moldy and its incredibly unpleasant to eat at that point. It will only last about a year after you crack open that bottle, so if you want to save it, put it in your freezer. It will retain its flavor best and keep indefinitely when it’s stored in the freezer and don’t worry, it won’t freeze solid.

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals.

Visit her website at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861
Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #169307
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What Foods Have the Longest Shelf Life? [My Top 20 Checklist]

by Amanda Hermes

There is a surprising variety of foods that can last for years, or ever forever, at room temperature when stored correctly. For all of these foods, the storage method is paramount. To protect your food supplies, store them in airtight containers in cool, dry locations away from light.

Containers might be bins, jars or cans with lids or even plastic bags that close securely. Buying in bulk is a great strategy, but most foods last much longer unopened, so obtaining many smaller containers might be more beneficial, depending on the food.

Moisture is the number one cause of food spoilage because microbes, such as bacteria, molds, and yeasts, flourish in moist locations. These microorganisms feed on food matter and decompose it. Like humans, microorganisms require water to survive, so if you remove moisture from food, it will not decompose, or spoil.

Naturally occurring enzymes in food can react with oxygen to cause spoiling and ripening that destroys food, but these enzymes also need water, so without moisture, this reaction can’t take place.

Make sure to keep long-term foods in cool areas, since heat can cause sweating, which can produce enough moisture for mold to grow. Darker places are also better for storage since sunlight can increase temperature.

While the foods below can last for relatively long periods, always discard foods that have a bad odor, flavor, or appearance. If mold or insects ever appear in your food, discard it immediately,
as these can present serious health hazards if eaten.

Below are twenty foods with remarkably long shelf lives to stock your survival pantry.

1. Dried Beans and Legumes

Legume is a generic term for beans, peas, and lentils. All of these are low-fat, cholesterol-free sources of high-quality protein and fiber, which means they are good for satisfying hunger. All varieties of dried beans and legumes will last indefinitely if stored correctly, that is, in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, according to chef and food scientist Mark Bittman.

Although there are hundreds of varieties of dried legumes, almost all can be prepared in the same way.

To make dried legumes edible, simply place them in a large pot and cover with water. Heat to a boil, and then turn the heat down and cover loosely. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beans are tender. How long this takes depends on the size of the legume you are cooking.

Peas might only take 30 minutes, while kidney beans take about an hour to soften. Legumes that are older than one year might take longer to soften.

2. White, Long-Grain Rice

Basic white, long-grain rice is another food staple that will last indefinitely if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Brown rice will last approximately one year, but its bran contains oils that can go rancid, whereas the bran has been removed from white rice, allowing it to last pretty much forever.

Rice is basically 100 percent carbohydrates, which provide energy, but not a lot of nutrition. However, it does contain magnesium, vitamin B6, as well as a little protein and fiber. According to Jill Waldbieser at “Cooking Light,” very old rice is actually revered in some Asian communities.

Rice that is over twenty years old commands a higher price and is eaten by royalty because eating it is equated with longevity. To prepare rice, combine with water in a two-to-one ratio (2 cups water, 1 cup rice) in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

3. Dried Pasta

All types of dried pasta will last at least 30 years when stored correctly, which is the same as the foods above. Pasta contains carbohydrates for energy and fiber, as well as iron and magnesium and a small amount of protein. To prepare dried pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Bittman suggests using five quarts of water per pound of pasta. Add your pasta, and continue to boil for 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Drain water, and add seasonings or sauce if you have it.

4. Jerky

Raw meat can easily be contaminated with microorganisms that cause disease, but treating it with heat destroys foodborne microorganisms, and drying it out removes the moisture that
allows them to grow. Jerky can be made from any game meat, beef or pork, but it’s best not to try with poultry.

To make jerky, slice raw meat into strips no more than 1/4-inch thick, and arrange strips on trays or baking sheets so they do not touch or overlap. Bake in a 140-degree oven for 10-24 hours. You can also use a food dehydrator to make jerky at home.

Vacuum-sealed jerky can last up to two years. Jerky is a good source of protein, iron, potassium, and zinc.

5. Dried Vegetables and Fruits

According to How Stuff Works, dehydration is one of the oldest food preservation methods, dating back to 12,000 BC. Dehydrated vegetables, like kale chips and dried green beans, can last up to eight years in an airtight container, according to Food & Wine. Dehydrated carrots can last up to 25 years, and dried corn has a ten-year shelf life.

Dried fruit, on the other hand, lasts about a year. Store dried vegetables and fruits in small airtight containers, such as plastic bags, because every time you open the container, the food is exposed to air and moisture, which lowers its quality.

As stated above, moisture promotes decay, but drying vegetables and fruits removes all the water, thereby preventing the decomposition process.

Unfortunately, it also zaps most nutrients out of fruits and vegetables as well, but vitamin A, iron, and fiber are retained. Use the same drying process as jerky, but check every two hours until food is completely dry and brittle.

6. Powdered Milk

Powdered milk has been around since the 1830s. It is a great way to get calcium, protein, minerals, and amino acids. In the original airtight container, powdered milk lasts up to two years, or ten years unopened.

To reconstitute, add one cup water to 1/3-cup powdered milk. Besides drinking it, you can use powdered milk to flavor other foods, make desserts such as rice pudding, or add nutrients to other dishes.

7. Powdered Eggs

Since the early 1900s, people have been using powdered eggs instead of the original when camping. They are simply dehydrated eggs in powder form and last five to ten years in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Just like regular eggs, powdered eggs are a good source of protein, potassium, calcium, and essential vitamins. Simply mix with water and cook to create scrambled eggs.

8. Rolled Oats

Oats are another great source of fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, and several other key nutrients. They last about two years in an airtight container.

To prepare, combine two cups water with one cup oats in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cook, stirring often for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for five more minutes before eating.

9. Canned Fish

Canned fish, such as tuna, salmon, and sardines are a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids that can last up to three years unopened in a cool, dry place.

The canning process removes air and places food in vacuum sealed containers that are heat processed, thereby destroying microorganisms and preventing bacteria from getting in, according to “Food & Wine” magazine. Canned fish can be eaten right out of the can or heated.

10. Nut Butters

According to “Readers Digest” magazine, nut butters, such as peanut, almond, and cashew, can last up to two years unopened, and six months once they’ve been opened.

Nut butters are a great source of protein and healthy fats.

11. Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables are packed in a solution of water, vinegar, and salt. The acid from the vinegar combines with naturally forming acids in the vegetables, thereby slowing down the decaying process that causes fresh produce to go bad.

Therefore, pickled vegetables can last up to two years unopened. By the same token, vinegar itself never goes bad because it is basically self-preserving.

Pickling recipes vary by vegetable, so it’s best to consult a cookbook or other resource.

12. Canned Goods

Canned goods are a great way to bring variety to your extended shelf life pantry. Despite expiration dates printed on store-bought items, canned goods that are stored in a cool, dark place and remain undented and in good condition are safe for up to six years, according to Fox News.

Canned vegetables and fruits can provide a plethora of vitamins and nutrients, depending on the variety. While it’s safe to eat canned foods at room temperature, most are better heated, with the exception of canned fruit.

Also, read the article How Long Does Canned Food Last that was published here on MDCreekmore.com a few months ago…

13. Honey

Honey’s low moisture content and acidity make it inhabitable for bacteria, so it will last indefinitely at room temperature. After some time, honey may become crystallized, but simply heat a glass jar of honey over low heat in simmering water until it becomes liquid again.

Honey contains virtually no nutrients, but it does contain antioxidants, which protect your body’s cells from damage. It can also be used to treat burns and wounds, due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

A spoonful of honey is a great remedy for a cough or cold, as it is a natural expectorant.

14 and 15. Sugar and Salt

Both sugar and salt are pure chemicals, which mean they are pretty much indestructible and will never spoil as long as they are kept free from moisture. Like children, microbes love to eat sugar, but they can only do so if it’s somewhat moist.

Whether brown or white, sugar is still safe to eat even if it becomes hardened over time. Salt is great to have on hand to season the foods listed above.

16. Soy Sauce

Fermentation is another method of preserving foods, which makes soy sauce one of the longest lasting flavorings out there. Soy sauce also contains a high level of sodium, thereby preventing bacteria growth.

According to Food & Wine magazine, unopened soy sauce can last indefinitely, and an opened bottle remains good for three years at room temperature.

17. Worcestershire Sauce

Similar to soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce contains high levels of acid and sodium, giving it a shelf life of up to five years unopened. It tastes great added to meat or fish or even beans.

18. Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract can last indefinitely at room temperature in an airtight container because it contains alcohol, which prevents bacteria growth.

For the same reason, many varieties of distilled liquor, such as vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, and tequila, also last indefinitely. This shelf life only applies to pure vanilla extract; imitation vanilla extract generally lasts about four years.

19. Cocoa Powder

Properly stored, an opened package of unsweetened cocoa powder will generally last for about three years at room temperature. Just mix with hot water and add sugar for a comforting beverage.

Pre-mixed hot chocolate powder, however, does not last nearly as long, since it contains dairy.

20. Bouillon Cubes

Properly stored in an airtight container, a package of bouillon cubes or granules, whether beef, chicken, vegetable, turkey or fish, have a shelf life of about two years. These can be used to flavor rice, pasta, beans, or any other dish you are making.

MD Creekmore adds: Some foods like powdered milk, butter powder, cheese powder, shortening powder, and powdered eggs are difficult to package for long-term storage at home so I buy these prepackaged for long-term storage in #10 cans.

My choice for long-term storage food is Augason Farms (click here to see their long-term storage foods on Amazon.com) because of their selection, quality, prices, and customer service.

Resources:

https://www.rd.com/food/fun/foods-that-never-expire/7/
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/cooking-from-the-pantry/the-top-10-longestlasting-foods
https://www.foodandwine.com/news/9-foods-almost-never-go-bad#canned-fish
https://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/foods-with-longest-expiration-dates
https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/dehydrated-food.htm
Bittman, Mark. How to Cook Everything. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2008.


"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861
Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #169309
01/29/2019 05:16 PM
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Add wheat to that. Wheat found in Egyptian tombs have sprouted after thousands of years. Hardtack will do little to fill you up, but it will last indefinitely. (Don't try to eat it dry, you'll crack a tooth. Crumble it up in soup or stews, or in your coffee soldiers they did in the Civil War.)

Onward and upward,
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Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #169310
01/29/2019 10:10 PM
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My wife and I bought one of those “Mylar bag sealers”, a mass of bags and O2 absorbers. Each oof the last two summers we have sealed up bunches of stuff that is stored in totes in the climate controlled basement. Oatmeal, maltomeal, powdered milk, rice, dehydrated retried beans, dehydrated onions, French onions soup, mashed potato flakes, elbow noodles.

With the way these are sealed up... how low by should these be good for?

I will probably start rotating some of these after a few years to package fresh stuff if they will be going bad.


"Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at it�s worst, an intolerable one."
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Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #169311
01/29/2019 10:55 PM
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If anyone has any information about how long you can store food like that, they're keeping it pretty quiet. It should last for quite a while, but a lot depends on how careful you were when you sealed it, and if there's any humidity. I would start testing the food yearly, and in any event I would be rotating out the supplies. I wish I had more info about it, but that's about all I can find.

Onward and upward,
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Re: Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [Re: ConSigCor] #169312
01/30/2019 01:21 AM
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Quote
With the way these are sealed up... how low by should these be good for?


Basically, you've done the same as the commercial food companies. Since it's sealed with an o2 absorber in a controlled environment I would think it would last the same amount of time as their products.


"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

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