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My Food Job Rocks!

There is very little awareness of what the people in the food industry actually do. This stems back to the lack of knowledge and awareness of the range of degree courses and programs available that will equip them for a career in food. My FoodJobRocks! by Adam Yee is the first podcast of its kind that allows listeners to hear directly from people who are in the food industry and have a passion for what they do. They share how they became involved in food and describe what it is they do, plus a few more fun questions just to keep things entertaining. Listen to them here, and stay tuned for a new episode every Monday.
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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 27, 2017

I usually do a pre-interview with my guest, to kind of explain what we do, if they listen to the show, and stuff like that. However Thom’s pre-interview was so good that I had to share it.

Think of this as an episode where I invite an old friend out to coffee to see what’s going on with his life. Thom is an amazing person who reminds me a lot of Derek Sivers.

Thom is also a guest who loves to swear so I edited a few things so the itunes police doesn’t get me.

So you’re going to learn a bit about documentation, and also some great podcasts that Thom listens to. Also, the really awesome perks Thom has built up in Stevivia’s office. There is a reason for that. If you want a full reason, listen at myfoodjobrocks.com/072Thom

Enjoy!

Key Takeaways

  • The importance of documentation
  • Thom’s investment in employee happiness
  • How to have employees talk to you

Other Links

Non-GMO in Europe
Louis Hows – School of Greatness
Tom Bilyeu - Impact Theory
Mixergy Tom Bilyeu
Tim Ferriss Show
Kale Chips Healthy Crunch
How I Built This
One Question You Would Like to be Asked?: Why do you do what you do?
Weird things in Steviva’s office: Tomato’s and chickens, food Friday

Jun 26, 2017

 

Thom King is probably the best CEO I’ve ever had the chance to talk to. He’s fun, innovative, and he just loves his job and the people he works with.

I had a great hour and a half talk with him on my lunch break and had to find an excuse when I got back to work. This interview is that good.

Where to start from this interview… whether you’re a young professional, an old soul, or a struggling entrepreneur, Thom will give you advice on all aspects of your career.

You’ll learn how to deal with conflict in the work place, the touching reasons why Thom loves his job, the amazing first stage of stevia and the growth of the brand, and at the end of the segment, the power of having a good idea and working hard so that everyone knows you’re the best.

Remember: I am currently recording this at my hotel at IFT. Just saying, I’ll be there until Wednesday. If you’re available, I’d love to meet you. Just email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or set a review on itunes. It helps wonders. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion--there's something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to foodgrads.com

 

About Thom King

Part CEO, part personal development wonk and part biohacker info geek, Thom is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur. While his favorite book list contains many success-oriented and personal-development classics, the classic definition of achieving success (e.g., making a lot of money) is not what inspires or motivates Thom. He follows more of a “you aren’t doing well unless you’re also doing some good” line of thinking. Thom’s company has been built around the simple principle of “do the right thing.”

Knowledge Bombs

- How to deal with conflict in the work place
- Literally the birth of Stevia
- How to get triple digit growth 3 years in a row
- Some methods to understand people
- Thom’s interesting hobby and how he makes them
- How to validate a good idea

Question Summary

Elevator Pitch: A sweetner that doesn’t affect blood sugar levels that became an ingredient company
Favorite thing to do as a CEO: Make my employees cry with tears of joy; Be appreciative with your employees
What do you think you do in a day?: Manage personalities
How many people are in your company?: 32 people
How do you deal with conflict?: Clashing is a function of a breakdown in communication; I learn about the problem, and get to a common ground
People who get under your skin: Imagine them as a six year old child

Steps it took: Thom met Jim while doing radio, he tasted Stevia, made Stevia extract in a  garage
Steviva was born in 1992
2008 – Stevia was given provisional GRAS status, moving Thom’s company to Food
Ever since 2015, Steviva has experienced triple digit growth

Metabolic disease: Obesity, diabetes
Why did you start a food company and what keeps you going?: Getting rid of metabolic disease is my why
Most important skill you can have in the industry: integrity. Constantly improve your product. Integrity is a service to makea  good product.
Food trends and technologies: Probiotics and fermentation
Thom makes his own probiotics and uses an 11 strain fiber

What is one thing you’d like to know more about?: Hydrocolloids, thickening agents
Example: thai chilli sauce, jam, etc
Favorite Quote: Tony Robbins: Anything is possible and it’s up to you to make it probable
Favorite Book: Right now is Tools of Titan
Favorite Kitchen Item: Sous Vide
Favorite Food: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Any Advice for starting your own business: listen to Gary Vee’s Podcast. You grind and grind and grind and grind some more
This is the best time in the world ever to start a business
Low entry points for validating your idea: social media and crowd funding
One thing you’d like to know about starting your business: more knowledge about Accounting
What’s next for Steviva: Moving to another facility. Quadrupalling the size of our R+D lab
Steviva: twitter, Instagram, etc
info@steviva.com --> direct it to Thom!


Other Links

Steviva
Nextiva brand – Stevia infused agave nectar
Marrakesh Spice
Provencal Anise
Maple syrup
Masala Chai Spice
DE 42 High fructose corn syrup
Jim May – Founder of Wisdom Naturals
DISC test – Analyzing human needs for all employees
Polyols/Erythritol
FDA rulings on fiber
Jerusalem Artichoke
Chicory Root
IMOs
Custom Probiotics Glendale Los Angeles
Flowbee- vaccum haircut
Ketogenic diet
Exogenous ketones

Jun 19, 2017

I am fortunate to interview Steve MacIntyre, as he brings a new perspective compared to the standard guests we interview here. He is the first Human Resource professional, and the only one I know who is really passionate about his industry.

Like many of our guests, Steve’s career path involved a lot of twists, and turns, and ultimately, a lot of leaps of faiths. From the army, to health and safety, to eventually, human resources, you can really feel how Steve has kind of gone with the flow in his career.

As a HR professional, Steve brings some amazing advice in this interview which will help you become a much better professional.

We give you some tricks on how to take advantage of networking, make the most of taking an expert to coffee, and igniting your intellectual curiosity

About Steve MacIntyre

An energetic, results-focused HR professional who directly contributes to a high performance culture by creating an employee oriented climate and implementing progressive and consistent people management practices that emphasize engagement, integrity, productivity and consistency.

Provides sound advice and guidance on human resources issues to leaders enabling our business to attract, retain, and engage great people who are inspired by superior results.

About Vibrant Health Products

Our story finds its humble beginnings in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, where Brad Brousson began using his mother’s recipe to bake sprouted grain bread for guests at a wellness resort. In 1989, Stan and Kathy Smith partnered with Brad to form Vibrant Health Products, sharing Brad’s passion for health and wellness.

Over the years, the company has expanded to include three brands: Silver Hills Bakery, One Degree Organic Foods, and Little Northern Bakehouse. But the company remains family-owned and operated. And the same homemade quality that began in Brad’s kitchen is still present in each loaf of bread, bagel, and bun we bake.

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dieticians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion--there's something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to foodgrads.com

If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or set a review on itunes. It helps wonders. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Knowledge Bombs

- Why being a HR professional in the food industry is different compared to any other industry
- How to be transparent and getting into the culture of transparency
- How Steve used networking to excel at his job
- Why Steve left his first job because of the products they made
- How to get the most value out of a coffee interview
- How to encourage people to demonstrate intellectual curiosity

Question Summary

Sentence or less: Senior level HR practitioner for the food industry
Why do you like the food industry: Food is something we all share. It's more intimate
What is the best thing about your job?: Hiring people, and give young professionals their first opportunity
Describe the steps it took to get to where you are today: I was in the army, electrician apprenticeship, laid off, food business is hiring electricians, health and safety committee, HR director asked him to take over and he loved it
Required HR: Chartered Professional in Human Resources (Canada)  or SPHR (US)
What should more people do to be good at their job?: Network with people who do what you do and do what you want to do.  Be intellectually curious
My Food Job rocks: I get to be part of this movement
Food Trends and Technologies: Sustainability, Whole Foods
One thing in the food industry you’d like to know more about?: Marketing. How do we influence you to buy our stuff?
Advice Going Into The Food Industry: Call me! But seriously, I love talking to passionate people.
How do you find good candidates?: I’m looking for energy
How can we reach you?: Through linkedin

Other Links

Gardeen
Flexitarian
Give and Take

Jun 12, 2017

 

If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or set a review on itunes. It helps wonders. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Manuscript

Looking at my calendar, I saw that this podcast actually started in June.

It’s felt like a long time. A lot of things have happened while creating this podcast. I met some incredible people, collaborated with geniuses, and made my connections with my friends unbreakably strong.

Other than that, a total of 15,000 people have downloaded the podcast, averaging 215 listens per episode. For me, I’m happy with this.

So in this episode I just wanted to really flesh out the events that made this podcast for what it was today, and how it slowly transformed. From the independent website, graduate student series, to why I am changing some of my questions, I want to tell you just how fun it was making this thing and where we’re planning to go next.

Let’s being

Beginnings

Have I told this story before? Maybe only to my guests, or with my friends.

When I first moved to Phoenix, I became obsessed with Podcasts, almost about the same time I started hating my job, which you can listen about in episode 60, which was around the time I wanted to find a way out.

I noticed that sure, listening to music was fun, but it wasn’t productive. So I started listening to audio books which I borrowed form the Phoenix library. Soon it evolved into podcasts.

My first podcasts I listened to often were Smart Passive Income and Entrepreneur on Fire. I’d consider these entry-level because they are indeed inspiring stories with a little bit of tactical knowledge. This went on for about a year.

In maybe January 2016, I read an article by Tim Ferriss about how he started his podcast. Through his write up, I found it was pretty easy to do. For example, the equipment was dirt cheap, and the barrier to entry is pretty good.

About a month later, Nicole posted the fated article about how the food industry is hiring people at a declining rate and everything kind of clicked.

The lesson here is really about this simple equation, that opportunity + preparedness = luck is something that resonates with me when I do projects.

If I didn’t listen to podcasts, or read how to do them, I would never had had the opportunity to work with Nicole. There are many other factors in how this started up that made it worked as well.

For example, Foodgrads was a startup, so they were flexible and willing to support me in this venture. Though they didn’t give me initial capital, the power of just getting a thumbs up is more than enough justification to get started with the podcast so I set aside $1000 dollars and went to town. I would provide the episodes, and they would provide the website that I could post on.

I bought equipment recommended by Tim Ferriss including this microphone. I downloaded Audacity, and then I bought a course called Podcaster’s Paradise. This course was created by John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire. I subscribed for about 3 months and learned a lot of technical tidbits in not only on how to use Audacity, but how to structure my podcast from getting guests to sending thank you notes. It also gave me some amazing tools such as calendly.com and libsyn.

I also found the facebook group they had extremely supportive and that’s also where I met Kim from Peas On Moss, who started her podcast the same time as I did.

So starting that, I now had to get guests. First up was Nicole and Juliette from Foodgrads as they were the ones hosting it on their website, so it just seemed right. Then I got Trevor Fast, Brian Chau, and Taryn Yee, while on a work trip to California. I literally scheduled time to meet and record. It was really fun!

I remember doing the dumbest thing while doing Trevor’s interview. I thought the room was too noisy so I thought we could do it in the office. We ended up doing the interview in a cramped, noisy room where chocolate was being refined. Editing that was a pain.

So you keep going. Episode 6 was my most valuable guest being Dr. Howard Moskowitz in more ways than one. This one was a stroke of luck I had no idea how I got him on the show. I just connected on linkeidn, he sends me a bunch of stuff and I asked him to be on the podcast. That’s so cool!

I realized then, that the ability to ask someone to be on a podcast is an extremely valuable tool. For one, it gives you a very legitimate excuse on inviting, and talking to people you want to talk to, and

I would say about 70% of my podcasts have guests I personally contacted, 10% are from people who sign up to be interviewed randomly and another 20% are referred to by either previous guests or friends.

My biggest tips for finding great guests is pretty simple, especially for people on linkedin.

For one, if they post a lot, it’s more likely they would like to be on the show. There are only a few exceptions I’ve had with this.

People who are going to launch something, whether it’s a book or new product, are especially willing to talk about it as well. This is how I got Ali Bouzari on the show, for instance.

Connectors, whether self-proclaimed are not have their perks too. Rochelle Boucher, for example, knew a ton of people and supported me in huge amounts getting guests that came to her Miele location. I returned the favor with my own resources.

After my recent talk with Alex Oesterle from Food Marketing Nerds, I found that he has a very different way of contacting. A bit more professional, which I might want to dive in the future.

He goes through PR firms or PR departments to get amazing guests from the marketing department. I’ve only had a couple of guests been blocked by denying permission, which I actually find kind of, a strange and outdated practice, but I understand.

But the method I use works, I have absolutely no problem finding guests and I actually realized that I don’t need big shots on my podcasts. I actually really enjoy interviewing fresh, inspiring graduates. Some recent examples like Jon Weber and Louis Edmond, who both just got their jobs, were extremely satisfying to talk to just because of their passionate outlook in life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So this brings me to another topic about what you want your podcast to represent. This means knowing your audience, and catering to that audience.

Overall, the message and structure for My Food  Job Rocks is a pretty simple one: explore different food jobs, dive in a little bit of their history, and explore their viewpoints on current events such as technology or current events. At the end, we cool down and talk about books, quotes, and favorite foods.

The questions we’ve designed for our show is pretty standard, but testing certain questions has made the process a lot of fun.

One of the questions I’ve changed was “what is a standard day like?”

I used this question in the beginning, but all I got was “every day is different!” So I changed this question and worded it in multiple different ways. Sometimes I say “what’s the most exciting part of your job?” or “what’s the worst?” some of my personal favorites include asking the process of how to make a certain food such as with Jocelyn Ngo or Haley Richardson. By diving into a subject filled with enigma versus a standard routine, in usually generates more excitement.

One of the other questions I’ve had a good time playing around with is “what do you think are the important skills you need in your job?”.

My favorite answer to this question is from Tiffany Tong from Canada’s Smartest Kitchen, where she said adaptability. After she did a beautiful explanation of the word, I dug deeper. “How do you become more adaptable?”

I guess the trend and evolution of the questions I ask is more about “how can I make this podcast more exciting/unique, and what type of tactical and actionable advice can I give to my audience?”

Next topic is in regards to why we split off from Foodgrads initially, around episode 16:

Well, I wanted more control and a certain person who was there at the time didn’t want that. Eventually, they had to approach to let me go.

I’m bad at assuming things, so I’ll leave it as: I grew too big for their nest so I had to leave. With a mix of disappointment, support from my friends, and admittedly, utter rage, I decided to make my own website to host my podcast.

I still had a weekly podcast so I had to make a website fast.

Luckily, this wasn’t just a start-from-scratch bang my head against the wall. Ever since I started hating my job, I dabbled into website design. I made my first “successful” website called Az Asian Food Review. Where I reviewed Asian food in phoenix.

I had to pay for a theme dedicated to podcasting (which in hindsight, I never used that feature) and a pretty good front page function.

Building the website was actually one of the most exhilarating I’ve done for this project and I am really proud of the website I made.

Using my skills from Canva, and my website experience, I made a website for maybe under $150 dollars that I could use as my playground.

And looking back, I used it as a playground very well.

Evolving the shownotes, making a blogging section for my own personal use, and recently, hosting another person’s content made this website a proud accomplishment.

Eventually, I made a deal with Foodgrads to work with them. Yes, it was awkward at first, but both Nicole and I supported each other. I actually had a huge internal debate not to do it because of an ego issue on my end, but that was a dumb, childish reason. The main reason is really, we can’t do this alone. If we’re split now, there is no way to conquer the industry. I need Nicole to be a powerhouse distribution force in the future, and she needs my high quality content to satisfy her readers.

Two lessons appear from this: don’t burn bridges, and don’t give up. I could have easily been extremely hot headed and aggressive in this scenario, and let my ego do the talking, but I had to bite my tongue. It’s paid off.

Another thing is consistency. If you really want to make this not a hobby, you need to be consistent with your episodes. Too many people get burnt out or just lose motivation on doing a weekly podcast.

What actually happened was I liked interviewing so much I ended up having so many episodes, I had to open the flood gates and launch 2 episodes a week. I was so hard to switch to 1 but I realized that two episodes a week really took a toll on my life. Luckily, I had Veronica Hislop save me with her willingness to provide awesome content with her blog posts.

So I want to wrap this whole thing up into a lessons learned scenario.

Both podcasting and website design were once small interests, that later became hobbies and then actually became revenue generating.

Yes, I made my initial investment back 5 times over. Some were direct requests, others were from referrals from guests. Not only that, but certain guests have contacted me for other projects and what’s coming in the next couple of years is really something.

At the end of the day, the biggest lesson I have for you is to just start doing something an hour a day. It can be researching, or reading, or just gathering information.

Eventually, a seed will be planted into your mind. When the opportunity strikes, you’ll be prepared.

As maybe you could tell from this episode, most of the opportunities I was given was

So the best place to invest a minimal amount of skill? I’ll give you two resources where you can find a skill and then have the opportunity to dig deeper.

Entreprenuer Podcasts

The SPI podcast by Pat Flynn is probably the best resource to find a collection of people who are making income in unconventional ways. This was actually one of the avenues I’ve used to another area of interest which ended up being a bad investment but that’s another story.

You can probably find things similar to SPI by typing in entrepreneur podcast in your favorite search engine. Other search terms you can use is Bootstrapping, and built.

Recently, Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale has been one of the best things I’ve ever listened to so if you’re going for it, you gotta listen to his stuff.

And

Facebook sponsored webinars

If you’re like me, a bunch of people are now pitching their “free webinar” facebook ad on my feed constantly.

Maybe it’s because I like stuff that attracts those adds to me…

Anyways, you should try it out. You’ll only invest one hour of your time.

But be careful! These types of webinars will always try and sell you something. It’s just their design. Whether you buy or not, is up to you. However, as a disclaimer, I buy maybe 20% of products that I see in webinars.

The point in exploring different avenues is to eventually find something where you can utilize the skill. The demand or timeline will be your bridge from interest to skill.

The power of having your back against the wall, you’ll be surprised in what you could get done.

Have a website to build in a week when someone lets you go? Time to get serious.

This is actually what I’m kind of missing now, the stuff I’m doing is awesome, but I need a sense of urgency to kick me in the butt. Apparently, it’s just my personality.

So where is this podcast heading in the future?

I don’t know. My goal is 100 episodes. Judging by the rate of this, we’ll be there in January.

With more than 50 interviews under my belt, I think it’s time to push a little bit on wrapping up the content in a nice little bow and send it to people who would find value in it such as professors, career consolers, or whatever.

I think I can put a little more oomph in sharing the content to others who might want to take the food industry as a career path.

Overall I have to tell you, I’m in this for the long run. Not just the podcast, but the connections I’ve made with every guest on the show is extremely valuable and every time I see their names or faces, I remember of the pieces of gold within their interview. Every podcast guest has taught me so much about just how passionate people are in their job. Whether it’s young professional’s eagerness to learn or the startup CEOs who hustle and works her butt off 24/7 but are fueled with endless energy, those are the guests that keep me going.

The next set of episodes are absolutely amazing. And there’s a lot more variety too. More food safety guests thanks to Marian Zboraj, editor for a Food Safety magazine. She gave me some absolutely amazing people in that sector.

What else, more sales reps, where I go more into what makes a good salesman, and the best CEO I’ve ever met.

There’s just so much coming up, that I always look forward to trying something new.

Thank you to everyone who’s been with me this past year. Thank you to all of our listeners, to all of our supporters, whether financially or emotionally. I don’t know what’s coming next, but things are building and as long as we’re in this together, we can do anything.

 

Jun 5, 2017

Today we have Shyamoli Gramopadhye a food technologist at Dairy Concepts where she solves the technical problems of her clients in the cheese and cheese powder industry. Shyamoli is actually a very supportive writer for Foodgrads and writes articles on the site.

This episode has a lot of info about India’s food scene. Not just the culinary aspect, but the industry aspect as well! Shyamoli is highly passionate in this aspect and is learning as much as she can in the United States, where she will hopefully bring it back to India some day.

Other tidbits in the episode include: the power of creative freedom, curiosity, and we sprinkle in a few great book recommendations throughout the episode.

About Shyamoli

I'm a Food Technologist in the Innovation Department at DairiConcepts. I'm extremely passionate about all aspects of food and my latest achievement in the food world is being an Elite Squad Yelper!

About DairiConcepts

As a comprehensive solution specialist, DairiConcepts offers an extensive line of cheese- and dairy-based powders, seasoning blends, concentrated pastes, flavor enhancers and hard Italian cheeses. With industry-leading expertise in clean label formulation and manufacturing, our custom ingredients can accommodate your specific flavor profiles and label claims, as well as broaden dairy-flavored ingredients into new dimensions of taste and functionality.

Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by FoodGrads, an interactive platform for the Food & Beverage Industry, which focuses on closing the gap between students and employers with a broader mission to attract and retain people to a meaningful career in food. From Food Scientists to Farmers, Chefs to Plant Managers, QA Technicians to Dietitians, or Marketing and Sales, no matter what your passion--there's something for everyone in Food—and they will help you find it.

Join FoodGrads for support, mentorship and guidance to start your career. Just go to foodgrads.com

If you like what you heard, like us on facebook or set a review on itunes. It helps wonders. If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve the podcast, don’t be afraid to email me at podcast@myfoodjobrocks.com

Key Takeaways

- Research versus business and how it works in industry
- Shyamoli’s experience with her mother’s food business
- Shyamoli and my discussion about farming

Question Summary

What do you tell people in a sentence or less?: I’m a food technologist
What specifically do you do?: Food technologist for Dairy Concepts. They are a support system and test flavors
Dairy Concepts: Cheese and cheese powder company
Favorite thing to do at your job?: A mixture of science and business. I can see both sides and see how my research affects the money
Career Path: My mom is in the food industry, undergraduate degree in biotechnology, subject that talked about food industry, went to get a masters
Reason why I went to the US: To study food science and bring it back to India. There’s no food innovation in India
The most important skill you need for your job?: Curiosity
How should you spark your curiosity?: You definitively have to be in a field that interests you. Read more, keep your eyes open
My Food Job Rocks:
I can learn so much about food and use it to start something new
What Business would you want to start?: A farmer space where people can come see what it takes to farm.
The Future of Food: The Third Plate by Dan Garber
What do you look for most in a job?: Creative Freedom
Is it a cultural thing?: Yes
Food Technology: Plant Based food such as lentils
Biggest Challenge: How broken the food system is
Who is doing a good job fixing it?: Hampton Creek, Kashi, Larabars
Favorite Kitchen Item: Muffin Mold for portion control
Favorite Book: The Voluntourist by Ken Budd
Favorite Food: Pani Puri
Food Media: Food Dive, Food Rush
If you were to tell a food science class right now, what would it be?: Talk to people and don’t hesitate to talk to experts
The more people talk to people, the more we can dismiss miscommunication

Other Links

Foodgrads.com
Procurement
Indian Organic Farming
Chef’s Table
Fair Trade Chocolate
Beard Wine Chocolate by Simran Sethi
Endangered Species Craft Chocolate

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