Adopting Green Methods of Farming

dopting Green Methods of Farming

Modern agriculture has become more dependent on chemical fertilizers to increase crop yields and ensure better quality of products.

This has been a cause of alarm for consumers because of the possibility of chemical transfer to fruits and vegetables. To counter this scenario, different communities started working together to exchange ideas and techniques to ensure the stability of their livestock and agricultural produce. Continue Reading →

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Getting to Know your Food

Getting to Know your FoodOne distinct advantage of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is that it builds better relationships within the community. These small farm clusters often support each other by providing help in the form of manpower resource and additional supplies.

A major benefit of this set up is the strengthening of the natural network between the farms and their workforce. In the end, it is more than just producing fresh goods because it affirms the bond of the community members. Continue Reading →

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Why You Should Buy Organic Foods

Organic farming uses natural methods of farming, including the use of compost, green manure and crop rotation. Pesticides and fertilizers may be used though they should also be considered natural.  This type of farming produces organic foods, which people should support. There are several reasons on why we should consider purchasing these organic foods over conventional foods and here are some of them.

Good for the Environment

Only natural products are used in farming, which is healthy for the environment. No chemicals or toxic solutions are utilized, which prevents negative effects on the environment. Chemicals that are used in other methods of farming could harm our surroundings, including the water and animals around the area.

Supports Local Farmers

Local farmers that use traditional methods of farming do not earn as much as big companies that own hectares and hectares of farms. When you purchase organic foods produced by these local farmers, you’re able to help them. There are also poor families that are thought by the government and non-profit organizations to farm, so they would have a source of income like in South Africa.

This becomes their job for them to live a better life. If you’re planning to visit the place, you may choose from several South Africa tours that would show you its beauty, culture and diversity. Don’t forget to visit the locals and support them by purchasing organic products.

 Good for the Health

Since natural products and methods are used in farming organic foods, you can be sure that they are free from chemicals. Products that were farmed with the use of various chemicals solutions may contain substances that may not be good for your health. Organic foods are healthier.

Tastes Better

When chemicals are used in farming crops, you may still be able to taste that on the food when eaten.  This is not the case with organic foods since they do not contain any form of chemicals. They are fresh and they also taste great.

These are just some of the reasons why you should consider eating organic foods. It’s good not only for you, but for the environment too.

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Imported Organic Food: Why You Should Go Local

With the rise of the popularity of organic food today, consumers often leave out the question of where their organic food comes from. This is because restaurants, shops, and sellers are quick to label their food as “organic” and “natural”, but they do not inform their customers or know where they source it. That is why this article aims to explain how international transportation practices used in the importation of organic food from various countries affects consumers’ health and the environment.

1. The Fumigation of Cargo Containers Containing Organic Food

Although it is still a small-scale operation, the demand for organic food in developed countries, namely the United States and Europe, has sparked the need for massive transportation of organic food in cargo containers like this. However, even if farmers and processors abroad produce high quality organic food on their end, the for rent cargo containers used for shipping perishable goods such as these undergo a certain process that has a large and harmful effect on organic food: fumigation. Although this process kills all pests or prevent insect infestations, it still uses chemicals such as aluminium and magnesium phosphide that taint the content of the cargo. In the case of organic food stores in treated shipping containers, it no longer stays organic by the time it gets to your plate because it has also been treated with synthetic substances.

2. Organic Food is Sometimes Mixed with Non-Organic Products

Cargo container companies should ideally observe important rules when shipping organic food: first, they should thoroughly clean the all of the holds, regardless of its previous load, using safe cleaning detergents; and second, organic food must be separated from non-organic food at all times. While both rules ensure that the cargo is not contaminated with chemicals and insects, some carriers do not record their cleaning procedures or are not aware that organic food must be treated differently for the consumer’s sake.

3. Higher Pollution due to Importation

Related to the first one, the impact of importing organic food contributes to the destruction of the environment. When transported by airplane, there are greenhouse gas emissions produced. On the other hand, transporting organic food by ship can contribute to oil pollution in the ocean. So by the time the imported organic food gets to the market, the pollution has contributed to the rise of asthma and other respiratory diseases in many parts of the world. That is why studies have shown that sourcing locally-produced food can minimize pollution and global warming across the globe.

With these issues in mind, it is important to be aware of the organic food you buy and eat everyday. Aside from making sure that it is not contaminated by chemicals, it also pays to make an effort to know if the source of organic food in the community is also aware of these health and environment issues regarding the transportation of organic food from abroad. Hand-in-hand, you both can make better choices when it comes to the health, nutrition, and environment of the community, society, and the world.

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The Organic Lifestyle

With the fast paced lifestyles we lead in the present, more people are starting to suffer from a myriad of ailments, ranging from obesity to heart diseases. Because of the ever growing number of people stricken with various illnesses, people are starting to veer towards different lifestyles. As compared to years back, people have become more conscious about their diets. As illnesses even ail those who are in their prime years, people have started to revamp their food intake. People have become more particular about the kind of food they eat, thus the sudden uptrend in the sales of organic food being sold in the market.

Benefits of Choosing An Organic Lifestyle

As conventional methods of growing produce would often include the usage of pesticides, produce which have been grown in the conventional manner are often attributed to play a role in the present day’s myriad of illnesses. But by purchasing organic food, one can not only be certain of the nutrients they will get, but they can also ascertain that they will not be ingesting any kind of medication used in conventional methods of farming.

How to Start Living Organically

As the organic food industry is not yet fully established, the food you can get that are grown organically are quite limited. Although there are quite a number of vendors that sell organic produce, there is often not that many choices as compared to the number of choices you have in the market for produce that are grown through conventional ways. But you can start by purchasing vegetables that are grown organically. These organic produce are vegetables and the likes that are grown in farms or a pergola, whose soil does not contain any pesticides. Using vermiculture in place of fertilizer, the produce grown in organic farms or gardens have been said to retain more nutritional content as compared to the conventionally grown produce. So during your next marketing session, do take the time to pick up some organic vegetables. They might be pricier as compared to the regular ones you buy. But remember, you can never put a price tag on good health.

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The Use of Hessian Bags in Agriculture

People carry bags made from different materials these days. One of the most popular materials being used to make bags is hessian, a traditional fiber made from weaving the fibers of the jute plan skin. There are several names to bags made from jute such as burlap, gunny bag or hessian bag. A lot of consumers, especially environmentalists, believe that jute bags are the better choice since they are made from a natural material and thus, biodegradable, compared to the ones made from plastic or paper which do not last that long.

Aside from being eco-friendly and durable, hessian bags like the ones here play a vital role in agriculture as well.

First, hessian bags are used as container for coffee beans, potatoes, rice and other crops. Since these bags are made from woven fabric, they allow for contents to breathe which is very ideal for products, specifically crops, which are very sensitive to moist. Plastic and other synthetic materials may not be suitable for some crops as they tend to trap moist.

Another importance of jute bags is its use to prevent water damage to crops. There are instances in which water may flood the plain which needless to say is destructive for the crops. In order to prevent this, jute bags filled of sand will be used to stop water from entering the plains. These bags of durable and can hold large amounts of sand. Jute sandbags are not only used in farming but also in preventing water damage to residential areas.  

Bags made from the jute plant are also used in another branch of agriculture, which is horticulture. Jute bags are used to efficiently avoid crop damage during the cold seasons. They may also be used as frost protection for materials used in construction industries. Jute bags are also used to protect seeds, in landscaping as well as weed control.

Environmentalists are now urging people to use biodegradable bags to save the Earth. Using jute bags does not only benefit you as a consumer but it also benefits the Earth where we live in.

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How Personal Trainer Jake Florez Switched To Organic Foods and Gardening

Health fanatic and personal trainer Jake Florez was not eating as healthy as he is now. As a personal trainer at Next Level Fitness in Orange County, CA, he is looked up to as a food, health, and training expert. However, just 3 years ago, Jake was a completely different person.

Jake’s Story Proves It’s Never Too Late to Change

You would not believe it, but in the past his favorite foods were cheesy baked Mac, blueberry pancakes with lots of maple syrup, cream pies, chocolate sundaes, 2-pound burgers, soda, french fries, and other fast food. These foods were just part of his regular diet that he ate on a daily basis in the past. Sometimes he would even guzzle down an entire one-liter soda with just one meal. He confessed that he would often eat when he is bored.

Jake disliked cooking and preferred to eat out instead. Going and coming home from work, he would always stop by at the nearest fast food chain in his neighborhood. During lunchtime, he would often go for a large order of fries, and soda with his cheeseburger.

The abusive food intake went on for years. Before Jake knew it, he gained a lot of weight and his face became covered with acne. He got food allergies and would develop “big ugly red blotches” from time to time. The itch would drive him crazy. On top of that, he would get dizzy whenever he got hungry. Jake even found it hard to breathe and he easily got tired. His condition worsened and this alarmed him. So, he went to see a doctor, because he had become too overweight for his liking. The unhealthy overeating also made his blood sugar spike up. His doctor warned him it might lead to diabetes and other complications if he continued to eat the way he did.

That was Jake’s wake up call…

How Jake Got Into Eating Organic and Gardening

He promised himself to eat healthy starting from that day on. It was not an easy switch. Jake had to overcome his cravings for fast food and sugary drinks. He started planning what to eat, and he avoided eating too much low quality meat and dairy products. Instead, he opted for foods and meat that were organic and grass-fed. In the morning, he would start with a green veggie juice – composed of celery, spinach, green apple, and carrots. Then in between meals, he would snack on an apple or carrot. By lunchtime, he would go for a salad dressed with light vinaigrette or olive oil. By dinner, he would go back to juicing with a grilled lean chicken breast. According to Jake’s fitness blog, after just ten days, of strict dieting his skin cleared up and he did not suffer from allergic rashes. He even felt more energized and noticed he felt less bloated.

Upon seeing these great results, Jake decided to make this new diet of his permanent, but the only problem was how expensive it was to always buy organic foods from the market. So he decided to use a space in his backyard to create garden beds for vegetables. He planted tomatoes, kale, spinach, cabbages, carrots, and other vegetables he can use for juicing. He even planted an apple and an orange tree in the corners of his backyard. Tending his garden, according to Jake, had become an enjoyable and relaxing activity. On his patio, where he can look over his vegetable garden, he set up a picnic table. There he likes to relax, munch on the food he grows, or just sips green tea while reading the morning paper.

Going organic, growing a garden, and eating healthy was the best decision that Jake ever made in his life. Now, Jake exercises, grows his own food, and prepares most of his own meals. All of these activities are something that Jake truly enjoys on a daily basis thus making him healthier and happier.

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Economic Benefits of Organic Food Production

At a time when most US-based foods are manufactured and distributed by large food production corporations, the need to revert and establish organic food production systems is quite high. According to Organic Consumers Association, the Industrialized Food Production system was introduced in the 1950s with the aim of providing plentiful and cheap food to US citizens. Although it was successful in producing high quantities of food, the cost paid was in terms of increased inorganic foods and reduced organic farming practices. The consequent result was seen in higher obesity rate, deteriorated health and lower nutrition levels of the general masses. Read on to find out some of the economic benefits of organic food production and why should it be promoted and adapted on a larger scale. 

Increase in Employment Level
By building up organic food production facilities and adopting it's practices, a whole new array of employment opportunities are bound to develop. Along with increased need of labor and farmers, there is also a wide scope of entrepreneurial opportunities leading to the development of small and medium enterprises. Due to this, the average income level would increase and so would the living standard of the particular sector. 

Lesser Environmental Hazards and Protective Measures
Since there will be no need of injecting hormones or keeping them in an anti-bacterial environment, lesser chemicals will be used and environmental hazards will decline. A sizeable budget is set every year to compensate for and invest in protective measures against the harmful fumes released by inorganic production of food, the budget can be put to better use such as funds and grants for organic food farmers and distributors.

Reduced Diseases and Healthcare Costs
The diseases and health issues that take place due to the consumption of inorganic foods would reduce considerably with the increase of organic food production and usage. Many children and adults alike have to face indigestion problems, and side effects of inorganic foods that can be read on WebMD in detail. Saving on the healthcare costs and reduced diseases is a positive input for the economy and people in general. Organic foods can be stored and consumed for longer periods without any bacteria forming in them, options such as food dehydrating and steaming can help in organic food storage which is healthier than inorganic foods. There are plenty of useful food dehydrator reviews websites like http://www.dehydratorreviewsguide.com/. Excalibur dehydrator review can be found here on that same website.

Economies of Scale at the Cost of Pollution
Industrialized food production systems give the advantage of economies of scale by producing larger batches of food. However, the disadvantage of producing in larger chunks is increased pollution in land, water and air by the use of chemicals for herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides. Some of the economic benefits in organic food production include farming methods that are low in cost, labor intensive and protect the animals from chemicals too. The different kinds of chemicals fed to animals produce animal waste that pollutes the land, water and air. By adapting organic food production practices, the environment will definitely be safeguarded against from pollution.

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Nutritious Gifts that are Worth the Hassle

When choosing a gift for a loved one, we tend to look out for stuff that the receiver would love to have and take benefit from. According to our opinion, there is no gift better than a nutritious, mouth watering treat that adds on to the health benefits of the receiver, and also leaves a pleasant taste on the lips. Let’s go through some of the most nutritious gifts that are worth the hassle, and should be opted more over other stuff like household decoration pieces or clothes that simply turn to piles of junk in a matter of time without any productive use of it.

Basket of Fresh Organic Fruits
Organic fruits that are fresh, juicy and right out of the farms are truly a treat. Fruits enhance the body’s hydration level, along with important fiber, vitamins and minerals that safeguard the body from different types of health issues. It helps in reducing weight, keeping the skin fresh and fights against inflammation. Moreover, the yummy taste of fresh fruits is simply irreplaceable. Check out fruit basket decoration ideas at Martha Stewart.

Gourmet Snacks
Gourmet gift baskets have been one of the trendiest and most loved gift items of the seasons. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it even serves as a great nutritious gift item. Gifting high quality cheese sticks or cheese crisps is a great idea for food lovers, visit http://www.cheesesticks.com/GiftsAndAssortments for gift basket snacks ideas and items. The mouth watering flavors of vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate not only increase blood circulation but also pumps the right amount of adrenaline for a healthy heart and glowing skin.

Stocks of Seasoning
For encouraging home cooked meals, a good friend might consider gifting, home made stocks of seasoning. These stocks can be easily prepared at home, the spices and herbs using in the seasoning would be healthy and nutritious along with a good hygiene level. For instance, taco seasoning, healthy ranch dressing mix, homemade Italian seasoning etc can be easily prepared and stocked in beautiful mason jars to be gifted to loved ones. For more ideas or simple recipes of these DIY seasoning stocks, visit the Wellness Mama page.

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What Kinds of YouTube Videos Do Organic Gardeners Look For?

There’s a huge world of YouTube videos out there in just about every category. The organic gardening category is no exception to this. In fact, if you went to YouTube right now and looked for different videos on organic gardening, crop rotation and other points on tending a garden then you will find that there are thousands of videos for you to watch.

There are many types of videos that people will look at when it comes to finding ideas on how to garden the right way. These are great videos that will inform people about almost every aspect of organic gardening. These videos are important and will come in several different forms that cover all kinds of specific needs you might have.

Pest Control Videos are Popular

Pest control videos are some of the most commonplace organic gardening videos around. Videos can include details on just about every kind of pest that might get in the way of a garden.

Some videos may cover points on how to use different herbs or barriers around a garden or even how to mix your own pest control solutions. The variety of pest control products is so varied that it will take several different videos just to show people what choices are available. Individual videos may also cover specific types of pests.

Videos Help You Choose Plants

There are many popular kinds of plants that are worth choosing from when looking for ways to make your organic gardening activity more enjoyable. YouTube videos often cover information on the different kinds of plants that you can add to your garden and how you can make them all work on your own. Individual videos will provide you with all the information you could ever ask for when finding ways to enhance the quality of your garden.

Watering Videos are Included

The process of watering an organic garden is not just something that can be done with any ordinary process. It requires plenty of analysis and reviews on your end to ensure that you will take care of your garden the right way. Many YouTube videos will cover every aspect of watering your garden including the points that are relevant to individual plants and how much water they can take at a given time.

These videos can also cover points on when plants have to be watered. Watering times can vary based on the conditions in a local space. Many videos will provide people with details on how they can tell that it is fine to go out to water a space in particular.

Soil Videos Are Covered As Well

Some professionals will go as far as to buy YouTube views on www.viewsaccelerator.com solely because they feel that their videos are not covered well. This is primarily because they have some very specific topics to go over. One such example of when someone might buy YouTube views is when soil amendments and other topics relating to soil are covered.

Soil is often ignored in the organic gardening process but it has to be aerated, rotated and treated with the right nutrients so any organic solution will work out right. Many videos that people can find on YouTube are devoted to all the key aspects of taking care of soil. The soil must be treated well and a sensible video will provide anyone with a finer style that is very interesting.

These are all just a few of the many things that are covered in YouTube videos all about different organic gardening practices. People who want to get further into the world of organic gardening will have to take heed of these videos in order to see just how impressive the world of gardening really can be.

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Promoting Organic Gardening With The iPhone

What things do you use your Apple iPhone for?

Texting, social media, making calls and creating cool pictures with Instagram possibly? While these are all great things to use the iPhone for do you know that we have been utilizing it for an entirely different purpose?

Many of us take pride in our gardens and we do so because it is something that we can do which doesn’t involve a great deal of technology. Things like the iPhone and all its apps and software are great however it is good to get back to nature at times. Indeed getting away for technology is no bad thing.

However with the iPhone 4 and the latest iPhone 4 jailbreak that we managed to find online, the device is really helping us with our organic garden. OK for some people this can be a bit like cheating by using technology but we look at it a different way: rather than interfering with nature our jailbroken iPhone’s are actually helping nature along and we have seen some fantastic results recently.

Let’s look at a specific example.

When we had our iPhone jailbroken we got access to another app store called Cydia. On Cydia we found an organic gardening app that basically consisted of a database of thousands of plants, trees and organic vegetables. Each item in the database has a description, planting information and various other pieces of advice on how to get the best out of the seeds.

This is great however the app actually went further than this. Using GPS technology it could easily predict weather patterns for our area and advise on when the best time to plant and when to water our seeds. Basically this app allowed us to get the best from our organic garden and ensured that our plants and trees got the best chance in order to grow and prosper.

Also they were great for compost. We could find the right compost mix to use for certain plants and vegetables and it really cut down on time as well. So much time can be wasted in a trial and error approach and while some people like this way of doing things we prefer to see results quickly.

Like we said, for some people this can be a form of cheating however it is no worse or better than looking at the weather forecast. Technology such as the iPhone is there for us to make use of it for whatever means we please. Indeed jailbreaking as opened our eyes to a whole near wealth of apps on the iPhone itself and if you take a quick look around Cydia then you will see loads that are related to gardening.

If you are thinking of starting to grow your garden especially by organic means then we really recommend that you utilize some of the apps that are available for jailbroken iPhone’s. They allow inexperienced gardeners to really get to grips with some of the finer details of building and creating a garden and we can’t recommend them highly enough.

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The Natural Hair Care Movement – How Going Organic Benefits Your Hair

The advent of the green revolution has forced people to look at natural products and staggering numbers have converted to naturopathy; people have turned to products that comprise only the purest naturally grown components in the belief that man made applications will prove deleterious to good  health in the long term. This is equally true for beauty products. For example, natural remedies for treating acne scars have the potential to be as effective as other forms of treatment in the long run.

Or take the case of human hair. The most widely used natural product for human hair is coconut oil, with several brands competing in the market. India, with a population of close to one billion people, was the best market to study. Shrewd surveyors did their bit and reported back to their parent concerns, which, after adding their tithe, patented and put their products into the market with loud fanfare. American companies were at the forefront, followed by EU countries which jumped onto the natural hair care bandwagon, proclaiming that they were utilizing only natural and plant-derived applications.

The opposing party, i.e., manufacturers of chemical compounds for hair care, is not impressed. They agree that shampoos and hair conditioners containing natural grown plant extracts blended with mineral products seem to be the rage, but insert a rider: “Can you prove that they actually suit your hair better than other hair care products available?” Well known trichologists are quoted as saying, “There is no conclusive evidence that they are superior to many man-made popular brands at the local supermart, nor are there any products that will transform bad hair into a glossy and attractive top overnight.” Labeling a hair product organic may be an excellent marketing practice, but it misleads the public. No hair product can be absolutely organic. It needs certain chemicals to be added as binders and catalysts, apart from preservatives.

They add that healthy hair depends on a large number of factors like diet, the local environment and the health of the scalp. So, when you choose a hair improvement product like a shampoo which will rid you of dandruff, choose one that will suit your type of hair. For instance, products that work well for black hair may not be suitable for blondes. Again, dry, curly or frizzy hair will require different products. Just because the label lists an impressive lineup of plant ingredients, it doesn’t mean that all types of hair will benefit from the use of that conditioner. The fact to remember is that your hair is 97 percent protein.

Your diet needs to be balanced, besides being protein, Omega-3 acid and Vitamin D-rich. What then is a good diet? A good diet is a sum of the following:

  • Omega-3 additives, comprising three percent of your hair shaft, are part of your scalp’s skin and a vital ingredient of the various oils that sustain the hydration of the scalp as well as hair.
  • Biotin (vitamin H), which, along with vitamin E, aids in protecting you from DNA and sunlight damage.
  • Foodstuffs that contain zinc, which prevents hair loss and stops your scalp becoming dry and flaky.
  • Vitamin A, which is a must for cell longevity and militates against dandruff.
  • Something edible that prevents Anemia, which causes severe hair loss, particularly on the distaff side. This makes iron a necessity, along with selenium and sulfur.

A good diet should, therefore, contain foodstuffs like salmon, sweet potatoes, spinach, lentils, Greek yogurt, blueberries, poultry, lean beef, eggs, cottage cheese, oysters, tomatoes and salads and more.

A great hair care product is Argan Oil, a rare oil extracted from a plant found mainly in Morocco. It is basically comprised of five fatty acids, vitamin E and natural phenols. Argan oil, in its unroasted form, was used down the ages to treat skin disorders. It was also used as a cosmetic oil that lubricated hair. Today, refined Argan oil has been recommended as an exceptional product for hair nourishment. In the U.S. market, products with Argan oil constituting its main ingredient in the personal care category skyrocketed from merely two in 2007 to one hundred plus in four years. This oil is sold sans additives in the natural hair care category and blended with pomegranate seed oil for hair, scalp and general skin care. Natural products are available for hair straightening too.

If you want to try hair straightening, use a straightening iron. Tap your hair dry using a quick moisture-absorbing towel, after a bath or shower. Next, blow-dry your hair to pre-straighten your hair, in preparation for the ironing process. Use a good spray for heat protection; divide your hair into layers− three or more−depending on hair thickness and use butterfly clips to keep your hair in place. Set your straightening iron temperature as advocated in its booklet. Double check this temperature as it varies for differing hair thicknesses; you don’t want your hair burnt through ignorance or complacence. To find the best flat irons, Michelle Evan’s hair straightener reviews can be a good starting point to help you narrow down your options based on your needs.

Your diet must be protein enriched. Keratin natural hair-straightening therapy uses the unique properties of the protein Keratin to straighten your hair. Keratin based hair-straightening solutions are applied to your hair and sealed in, using a flat iron. If you like straight hair, a keratin-based hair-straightening session may cut down the time you take to blow-dry your hair by 40 to 60 percent. The effect sets in after three-four days, so you must not wash your hair till then.

Perhaps the best way to straighten your hair is to combine the best of both worlds, using an organic natural hair straightening solution blended with typical mechanical systems. When combined with a proper diet, you can be sure you will always sport a great crop of hair.

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