**Official Paleo Complaints Thread**

by (24343) Updated February 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM Created October 19, 2011 at 3:44 AM

Do you have a complaint about something paleo-related? I sure do. Spew it out--but if you're going to spew, spew into this! (thanks Garth)

  • Whole Foods- I used to shop at the discount-iest of the discount grocery stores before paleo. Now I shop at Whole Foods, and wonder why I can't afford to pay my alimony.

  • Chipotle- Why must you be so delicious yet cooked in soybean oil?

  • Nomenclature- Explaining to friends and strangers how you eat is a challenge. Paleo? Unprocessed? Ancestral? Paleo 2.6?

  • Too much science- Are my mitochondria okay with my nutrient flux? Should I care or just eat whole foods?

  • Grok- God love him, but Mark Sisson's Grok is not universally well-loved throughout the paleosphere.

  • Wheat in the ingredients list- First ingredient...looks paleo. Second and third...paleo. Hold on, contains wheat? Why??

  • Lack of sugar- Okay, you've drunk the paleo kool-aid. But come on...ice cream and cake taste amazing. Admit it. And now you can't have any. Neener neener neener.

  • Paleo Foodies- I love them and I hate them. Nicely prepared food is awesome. But listening to people talk about duck confit and sous vide ad nauseum is not as fun as it sounds. Take your Meyer Lemon-rind foam and shove it.

  • Paleohacks moderators- I never was a big fan. They delete your threads and don't tell you why. Then I became one, and started hating myself a little bit.

  • Leangains website- Such valuable information, but strangely slow to load. And why is everyone so ripped? It makes me feel like a bag of jello.

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49 Replies

3512 · October 19, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I loved knowing nothing about food except that you could eat it. Now I know that tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers are nightshades. I know dairy has casein and lactose, which are potentially problematic. That legumes and nuts have phytic acid and lectins. Fruit has a bad sugar called fructose. Coconut has saturated fat and is very high in salicylates. When meat is browned it creates a mallard reaction. Cookies have vegetable oils. Fish isn't fish, fish is a bunch of Omega 3 fatty acids, some protein and iodine. Egg whites could tear your gut apart. Sweet potatoes are high in oxalates. Lots of calcium is bad, not enough calcium is bad. Fat has 9 calories per gram. Protein and carbohydrates have 4. If I eat too much tortillas I might get pellagra. I need fiber, fiber is bad. Eating lots of meat might give me iron overload. Not eating enough and I might get anemia. Vegetables are good for you. Vegetables have a lot of toxins which are potentially bad for some individuals. Carbohydrates raise insulin, that's bad, no it's good.

The more I study and look into nutrition, the more fearful of food I become.

55320 · October 19, 2011 at 3:59 AM

I eat ArcheAncestPaleo 3.3.0Beta Release: Mastodon and it's working totally fine. I have very few complaints. The UI is a little wonky though and sometimes the latest release deletes ice cream from my freezer randomly even when I set it to cheat mode. The starch override feature is quite nice though and allows me to buy some potatoes occasionally even though the interface warns me they are potentially hazardous.

Friend mode is very useful and allows nearby friends with Android phones to download a free 200 page explanation of how my diet works, which makes my life easier since I don't have to spend days explaining it on my own. I'm really glad they added that FatPlus+ system to core this time so it's easier to eat more bacon without receiving fat overload messages. The new Guilt Modulation system1 is also somewhat useful and tells me every morning that I can eat an apple without acquiring diabetes. However, someone forgot to remove some old code, the Carb Guilt system, and it occasionally freezes the system when you try to eat the apples or potatoes.

Overall, I'm quite happy with the latest release, but I'm hoping they can clean up their code so the next release is a little less buggy.

Some users are talking about the FoodRewardAlpha system, which regulates your food intake based on "reward value," but many users think it's bogus and claim it doesn't work with the Carb Guilt add-on that was taken out of core recently, but remains very popular. Personally, when I tried to install it I was very unhappy that it prevented me from using massive amounts of Tabasco sauce and pouring ghee all over everything, so I removed it.

18437 · October 19, 2011 at 4:30 AM

14 different theories that tell you 95% of the same thing, but spending an exhausting amount of time and effort on what is in all likelihood an inconsequential 5% just so we can say we found OPTIMAL!....

Medium avatar
12362 · October 19, 2011 at 5:20 AM

My official complaints

'Paleo' police - They are here there and flipping everywhere! Even my friends and co-workers watch what I eat and say 'hey....that's not paleo" --- and i say to them bugger off!

Anonymous downvotes - I know that has been discussed here before, but it still gets me, what can I say, I'm human and I don't particularly like negative feedback - and anonymous negtive feedback is like a heckler in a dark crowd - just plain rude and unhelpful!

and EVERYTHING THAT KAMAL SAID! - man you nailed that right on the head for me!

20222 · October 19, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Wandering around the grocery store in a daze. Because no matter what I get, there is something wrong with it.

1605 · October 19, 2011 at 5:52 AM

I hope it's not hijacking this thread to say that I'm in no place to complain? The examples make me laugh, but I'll take 1000 inconveniences any day for the sake of something as precious as health going in a much better, less scary direction. I don't know how to put it exactly, but just standing back and looking at the big picture lately has put me in a state of constant gratitude.

1801 · October 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Hmmm... Was I supposed to shove it in CW's face and eat the chicken skin or avoid it because it's full of omega-6?

Why again is this raw, pasture-raised, yogurt produced from Jersey cows fermented using traditional strains and tolerated well by my Swedish, lactose-producing, good lipid-level body bad for me? Was it the casein or Grok's inability to work an udder?

Being that I'm not type II diabetic or remotely pre-diabetic, why are my carbs restriced to one small sweet potato in the 1 hour immediately post-cross-fit workout window? Is it because I'm too pale to pass for Kitavan?

Oh, and should I avoid multivitamins and get all my nutrients from food or take a multivitamin because I can't get all my nutrients from modern foods?

Medium avatar
39204 · October 19, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Highly active guys with 6-packs telling the obese they should eat 65%+ calories from fat in order to get lean.

4067 · October 19, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Paleo Health Improvements: Me not improving my health or helping my tummy problems after years on paleo, but reading how it changed people's lives! (Ok, wait..that might be my own jealousy issue..)

Paleohacks: Questions that have been answered over and over -the writer doesn't do their research. Responders that just want to respond -disregarding the question. For example: Question: Egg free breakfast ideas. Annoying Responder: Just eat eggs, I do. (Or even worse: Go without breakfast, fasting is good for you).

Liver: So good for you, so nasty. No Matter how you dress it up -screw the recipes, they don't work -Liver is Satans apple.

Eating Out Cheap: Miss it. Especially those darn breakfast burritos and horchata.

Steak: Its uncookable despite numerous hints/tips/proven methods. Mine always turns out tough and unedible.

The Coffee Controversy: So sick of it. Everyone gets at least one naughty.

My husband: eating SAD and using "Everything in Moderation" as his motto. Worst of all -I can't be his shining example of Paleo success because..See my first item!! Paleo hasn't done sh&*^ for me! (I am sticking with it for intellectual reasons and sheer stubbornness).

Five finger shoes: When the sole comes out, those things are a monster to get back in.

Boiled Eggs: The perfect food except they smell like death.

1059 · October 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Podcasts- I hate them!

What's the point? Why spend an hour listening when you can read through a transcript in 5 minutes?

1371 · October 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

My biggest complain with paleo/primal/leangains/primal wisdom/hyperlipd, actually ANY blog about ‘real food’ health is that NO ONE SEEMS TO BE ABLE to make decisions FOR HIMSELF. Just because you KNOW x y and z about food does NOT mean it will affect you in such a way and you are going to die from cancer -muscle cramp -leptin deload- insulin-to-much-activity-depression-insomnia-thirst syndrome coupled with irritable-mood-bowel-gut dysbosis in the next 24 hours.

Just because say, Don at Primal Wisdom changes HIS diet and informs people about it does NOT mean you HAVE TO, or even that you SHOULD. It means he is informing you of what works for HIM. Just because Peter at Hyperlipid is convinced a higgghhhh saturated fat diet equates to health and long life does not mean that Mallory(me) won’t promote a highhhhhh carbohydrate diet with longevity and health.

This plays into my next complaint, too many people questioning if they ‘can’ do this or that. Like for real, is this real life??? Are you really asking an internet community if you can walk a mile, if you can go to bed at 9pm, if youre gut will be destroyed by the skin of an fing potato, if you can have food when you get up for work and youre hungry….??????????????????????

And my main point/rant, NO ONE is right about health/nutrition/disease besides YOU. Before you go around the grocery store for an hour and get in a fight with the butcher who wont import seal heart and blubber for your zero carb diet or the farmer who is unsure of the mineral density of the soil his vegetables were grown in, SELF EXPERIMENT AND TAKE A CHANCE AND TRY THINGS FOR YOURSELF.

If your hungry in the morning, fing eat, then LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

If your tired at 3pm, GO TO BED, see how you feel in the morning.

If you keep eating coconuts and your gut keeps being destroyed, maybe you should listen to your body.

If youre eating chicken breasts/lean turkey/tilapia/tuna and your skin is dry and red and your eyes are so dry you cant blink, maybe you should listen to your body.

If you eat avocados and notice they digest well, enhance your skin tone, maybe you should stop fing worrying about their PUFA content and DO WHAT IS WORKING FOR YOU.

If you cant stop eating nuts once you start, maybe you should listen to your body’s reaction and stop buying them.

If you down a protein shake and notice your heart rate skyrockets and temples are beating, maybe you should take that as a sign.

If you like food __ but aren’t eating it because blogger/hacker _ says it will kill you or harms him/her THEN MAYBE this is a sign you need to make decisions for YOURSELF

15831 · October 19, 2011 at 5:54 PM

My complaint with many people who are into paleo would be that too many of us try to avoid the simple fact that calories matter; they always have and always will.

The conventional wisdom that says you can eat less calories to lose bodyfat is not mutually exclusive with most of what it is we all call Paleo.

Not all things conventional wisdom are bad just as not all things alternative are good.

4540 · October 19, 2011 at 4:41 AM

Rice and potatoes trying to get all up in my gene expression. To get revenge, I like to brutally maim the eyes on my potatoes.

3861 · October 21, 2011 at 12:25 AM

Leptin, leptin, leptin. Please, it's not the answer to every #($#($(#$ question!

10004 · October 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM

My complaint is when you tell family and friends about the benefits of a paleo diet and they look at you like you are crazy and they normally respond with "But whole grains are an important part of a balanced diet and provide fiber."

15964 · October 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Biophotons and earthing.

3681 · October 19, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Science before common sense. That's what got us into this mess after all, we started questioning our traditional roots in the name of science. Now it's like we have to relearn how to eat, what a waste of time. I should be on Mars right now.

451 · October 20, 2011 at 4:08 PM

The embarrassment of following a diet that makes people think of loin cloths. I refuse to use terms like paleo, caveman, grok etc... as my hipster foodie friends would never let me hear the end of it. I end up saying "I'm not hungry" or just saying that I avoid gluten as gluten intolerance is hot right now.

Caveman = dorky.

Gluten free = manic pixie dream girl (Zooey Deschanel)

9796 · October 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I'm with ya on the "too much science!"

1314 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Reading confident, compelling, scientifically referenced articles on Paleo-type blogs (Masterjohn, Kresser) stating that saturated fat is good and PUFAs are bad, or that statins have never been shown to benefit anyone except men who have already had a heat attack...

then reading actual studies on PubMed which say the opposite.

Statins: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21989464

SFA vs. PUFA: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20351774

I have family members on statins, and would like to show them why I believe statins are doing them more harm then good, but when I go directly to the literature I cannot demonstrate this. I am a firm believer in real foods and the benefits of high-quality animal products, but whenever I try to dig down into the actual data, my confidence in the Paleo way of eating is shaken. It doesn't help that although I am an RN and have taken a whole class in research, I'm not smart enough to effectively evaluate studies.

1090 · October 20, 2011 at 4:37 PM

i wish today's violence was paleo. no guns, only rocks and bare fists...

7571 · October 19, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Conflation of the failings of nutritional science and "conventional wisdom" (as in the spew found in magazines and such) with all medical science. Also constant application of the "CW" label. "My doctor uses CW to diagnose." "My CW friends/spouse/sister/dog" "My CW professor said..." it's grating and doesn't even make sense half the time.

Also thinking that just because something goes against the grain, it should be given serious consideration, even if it basically violates everything we know about physiology. e.g. Mark Sisson's post about earthing as it applies to everyday health. Please.


Paleo-evangalism, and also, people expressing astonishment that people who aren't eating paleo can still be healthy and thin, and wondering how that might happen. Also people then qualifying that with "well, they're thin, but since they're not eating paleo, how do you know they don't have all kinds of health problems?" Come on.

Thinking that food is the cause of, and the cure for, every single little problem that someone might have, ever. Sometimes people get sick or have a headache or an upset stomach or a sore joint or can't sleep or whatever. It can't always be traced back to something in your diet.

Edit: I forgot the biggest one: The strange obsession some posters seem to have with their bowel movements, and the insistence on constantly asking questions about the colour/consistency/shape/frequency of PHer's shit.

519 · October 19, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Trying to eat healthy outside with little added to the food at a place like Whole Foods and everything contains soy, wheat or sugar! Flour in sweet potato mash?!

13583 · October 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

The name Paleo itself.

Presentation slides from guys like Lustig that are packed with sooooo much info that that are useless.

The lack of paleo books that have been released in audio format.

7153 · October 19, 2011 at 4:03 AM

I'll see your Whole Paycheck and Nomenclature and I'll raise you some over-the-top Nutritionism.

214 · October 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Asking a cute girl to lunch then realizing you're not going to be eating. Or you'll bring your own food and have to convince her you're not crazy for thinking bread is poisonous.

1212 · October 19, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Paleoid Cookbooks that promise much and then deliver way too many Chicken receipes. I want more meat, yes Kamal, duck confit and how to use duck fat. Flanken receipes, even turkey, but I am sick of chicken receipes. Who eats chicken?

1130 · October 19, 2011 at 10:37 AM

1) Enforcing the "human are just animals" worldview.

2) Seeing other nutrition approaches as inferior.

85 · February 10, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Getting in and out of the grocery store in no time flat, bags of healthy food, feeling like a boss, going home and husband asking "Did you get light bulbs/soap/some other thing that is in one of the aisles?" Right! The aisles! I always forget. We haven't had working light bulbs in our bedside lamps in months and there's watered down dish soap in the bathroom soap dispenser.

180 · October 20, 2011 at 9:29 AM

My #1 issue is simple: Too much promotion of "order grass-fed X online here" or "buy steaks from Argentina because they are grass-fed", etc.

I am certainly not arguing against pastured products - in fact, if it's a choice between not eating meat and supporting CAFO/industrialized practices, I vote no meat. Sorry guys. I realize this is something most of us don't want to hear because, sadly, bettering one's self often is NOT synonymous with bettering the community and/or environment. Far too many people run out and buy steaks shipped from thousands of kilometers away or "bio/organic" veggies that are usually A: out of season and B: also shipped from a far-off land where they happen to be in season at the time. I know it's hard to find local sources of most things but it's surely not impossible.

So, my biggest issue with Paleo/Fruitarian/whatever-else-here is that MOST of these ways of eating ask that you think of only yourself. Every time you buy that steak from Argentina or New Zealand you are voting to support globalization which has more ill-effects on the environment and community directly than simply buying from a local farmer that might feed his 3 cows grains during colder months. I would (idealistically, I know) like to see more of us shop more consciously! Do the research, ask around, etc. I am willing to bet that most of us can find local solutions.

Eat with the seasons, eat locally, sustainably and consciously. :)

4039 · October 19, 2011 at 6:00 PM

My complaint is that my son thinks I'm going to die real soon because of eating paleo, that I am starving myself, that I have an eating disorder, and that if I just ate white rice and quinoa, all would be well.

12804 · October 19, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Mark Sisson-

"I ran marathons all the time in my 20s and 30s and had lots of itis's and lung infections etc"

"I'm 58 now and feel a lot better than in my 20s and 30s when I was on a high carb diet"

So high carb diets are bad.

8497 · November 10, 2011 at 2:38 PM

That I now actually spend time reading posts with titles such as:

"Hack my poop :)"

"Would you eat a cricket?"

"Are there any traditional cultures who consume a lot of eggs?"

748 · October 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

As a non-paleo eater... here are somethings that I have an issue with when reading on paleo sites that confuse me and irritate me about paleo.

a) I feel that paleo eaters can never agree with each other on what's good or bad other than SAD is bad. Well the clean eating diet said that years back, and to some degree Atkins as well. Otherwise it feels like everyone is walking blind holding up their food to each other going...Paleo? Paleo? Paleo?

b) When some explains why we shouldn't eat x, y,z (especially nightshades) a bunch of scientific sounding mumbo jumbo is thrown out and all it does is confuses your otherwise willing paleo participants.

c) every delicious sounding recipe has a coconut in it.... I'm allergic and it makes me sad :-P

6218 · October 19, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Here my venting:

1)Friends and family members think everything in conventional wisdom is okay to eat - beans, peanuts, soy, whole grains, quinoa, wheatgrass, low-fat. Then I have to painfully explain why there are problems with these foods and cite them scientifically! Ouch! Then they look at me like, "What the hell do you eat, then?"

2) Late night arguments (like till 2am) with the hubby about whether "X-food" is Paleo or "X supplement" is going to help or harm. This is seriously messing with the whole premise of Lights Out book. Cortisol and insulin spike just from this!

3) Oh why does the burger chain Be Good have to Be Bad and drizzle a tiny amount of canola oil on their baked gluten-free sweet potatoes fries (YES not even cross-contaminated)!

4) Spice mix, sauce, or paste used for years and otherwise Paleo but cross-contaminated with gluten. Why did you have to make your spices with !@#^& wheat! Do you know how many spices I've thrown away or given away! :(

5) I spend too much time with cooking, recipes, etc. but now I'm a food snob. I complain about what's wrong with so many foods - both at restaurants, and other people's cooking (even Paleo) - not to their face of course! I bring my own salt and Kerrygold butter to restaurants.

6) Why can't I like liver??!! I've tried 3 recipes, and 1 I like, 1 the hubby liked, and 1 neither liked! Why can't I find 1 liver recipe WE both like! I've adapted to tallow, ghee, and coconut oil (all 3 used to turn my stomach), so why can't I eat the most Paleo thing of all - liver!

1354 · October 19, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Definitely. Definitely. Definitely too much science. I can't listen to peers talk about nutrition anymore as they spout unthoughtful nonsense. "We need to eat toast for fiber", "If you eat too much protein your kidneys will fail". "I shouldn't eat fat because I won't burn it off in my low intensity lifestyle." "I can eat whatever I want 6 days a week, have one all protein day, and still lose weight, because Dr. Whaszisface says so in his book." I have to duct tape my mouth shut most of the time.

350 · February 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Looking for quick snack ideas online & having people repeatedly say "a can of tuna & a fork is all I need" I'm a grad student...you're suggesting I take a can of tuna to campus (with my can opener), open the can and drain it in the bathroom sink, and dig in during lecture? No one will want to sit by the weird girl that smells like tuna.

Paelo pizza crust...it's just not the same & never will be. It's either a pancake, soggy veggies, burnt cheese, or meat-NOT crust.

Having teaching assistants bring candy to class to win us over then seeing I don't ever take a piece ask me in front of the entire class why I don't want any. I've realized people think I'm less crazy if I say I don't like candy than if I say I eat Paleo.

Thinking about all of the amazing dips my friends make in the summer (does anyone else equate summer with dips?) and knowing I will either a) have to make my own (with homemade mayo, cream cheese, no corn, etc.) b)not eat any c)cheat

Going out to eat and having the only paleo-ish options be the most expensive on the menu. "I guess I'll have the $23 ribeye." Refusing the free bread or tortilla chips at restaurants. Having a confusing and long ordering process when out to eat "I'll have a water to drink, then I'd like the salad with oil & vinegar, no croutons. I'll have the tilapia but not breaded and instead of the potatoes could I have veggies or fruit, thanks."

The closest Trader Joe's is 1.5 hours away :(

Not having raw dairy in Iowa (although I could probably find a nearby farm that would be willing to help me out).

My damn sweet tooth...always reminding me of all the things I can't eat!!

Cooking, all the damn time.

Phew, that felt good.

12405 · October 19, 2011 at 7:12 PM

  • List item Nomenclature- Explaining to friends and strangers how you eat is a challenge. Paleo? Unprocessed? Ancestral? Paleo 2.6?

RESPONSE: "AncPrim 49.1: The Rise of the Mountain Goat Milkers" here!

1009 · February 16, 2013 at 12:14 PM

buying coconut oil from the other side of the planet rather than just using butter.

499 · February 16, 2013 at 10:45 AM

bacon haters

People that think paleo = atkins diet

588 · November 28, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Okay my turn...

I'm a college student and every important meeting I have to go to they offer "free pizza". I don't want to smell or see pizza nor have anyone look at me crazy for not eating it. I'm almost to the point of avoiding meetings.

My roommates are Brazilian, I love them but they put sugar and sweetened condensed milk on EVERYTHING. Rice for every dinner meal, followed by a dessert. It's tough to avoid things in my own fridge. I have to reach over the ice cream to grab some chicken breast. Not ideal.

Family events! My grandma try's to make me eat everything because i'm "too skinny". I am not too skinny.

I'm just going to stop here. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

3437 · February 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Sometimes I truly just miss the pure joy of eating a gol dang sugar infested cupcake or piece of cake or pie without my mind going into a emergency overdrive and yelling at me to STOP STOP STOP and think of what its going to do to my body, like I'll explode all over the place. There are days when I miss being ignorant. There are days when I feel like food has become my own personal mental terrorist.

Medium avatar
10077 · October 19, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Bacon and eggs. Grok didn't have them. They're completely SAD. And they're the most heavenly of rewarding foods. Two complaints:

People who write 400 page diet blogs, plans and books which in the end recommend eating bacon and eggs.

People who buy those plans and books and think they've discovered something new.

1855 · October 19, 2011 at 4:22 AM

Nutrient ratio bean counting mo-fo's! (yep I like flavored creamer in my coffee sometimes!)

953 · February 15, 2013 at 11:53 PM

I just hate it when people assume I'm eating something freaky and gross when they learn I eat healthy. Ill pull a tupperware thing out of my purse, somebody will yell "What is that!?!?", I answer "chicken salad with cherry tomatoes", "Oh. lol."

146 · February 10, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Jeez....just dont eat a lot of wheat, other grains. Leave out on the sugar. Don't eat stuff cooked in crap veg oils. Look for good sources for your meat. If any particular time, you have to compromise, like its a birthday party and there is cake, just fricken eat it. WTF. Enjoy. Not hard. Follow the guidelines in general. Go big on the good stuff and small on the bad.

Freaken easy, stop whining.

Medium avatar
8187 · November 10, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Goodness knows I have complaints. Plenty, about lots of things. I am learning, slowly, to let my complaints fend for themselves. I find when I feed them, they get big and often turn mean. So thanks for this invitation to help compile and cultivate a particular subset of complaints related to eating and exercise topics. Darn, I just find it more fun, in the happiness sense, to focus on what's working. Ask for "wins" I've achieved or am working toward, or stuff I'm basically grateful for, I may have a thought or two to offer.

I hate Mark Sisson's lean physique. Oh, hell I can't resist.

1637 · November 10, 2011 at 7:30 AM

This post is my Paleo complaint.

Chipotle meat is cooked in Soy Bean Oil??? You just ruined it for me...

145 · February 16, 2013 at 4:45 PM

PEANUT BUTTER! I'm not sure I can actually live without it.

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