Egg Noodles vs Rice Noodles

When it comes to choosing between egg noodles and rice noodles, there are several factors to consider. Both types of noodles offer distinct flavors, textures, and benefits, but depending on your personal preferences and dietary needs, one may be more suitable for you than the other. This article aims to guide you through the subtle differences and help you determine which noodle type suits your taste buds and culinary goals best.

Egg noodles, as the name suggests, contain eggs in their dough, which gives them a rich and slightly chewier texture compared to rice noodles. They are mainly made from wheat flour and commonly used in Western and Central European cuisine, as well as Asian dishes. On the other hand, rice noodles are made from rice flour and water, and are a staple in many Southeast Asian dishes. They are known for their light and springy texture, making them a great option for those with dietary restrictions or preferences.

In terms of nutrition, there are noticeable differences between the two types of noodles. Since egg noodles contain wheat flour, they are typically higher in carbohydrates and calories than rice noodles, making the latter a popular choice for people watching their caloric intake. However, egg noodles also tend to have a higher protein content due to the presence of eggs. For allergy concerns, rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, making them suitable for those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.

Origin and History

Who invented noodles?

Egg Noodles Origin

The origins of egg noodles can be traced back to China, around the Han Dynasty period (206 BCE – 220 CE). With their ancient history, egg noodles have become a staple in many Chinese dishes and have spread across various regions. Many different variations of egg noodles exist, with ingredients being tailored to specific regional palates.

The main components of egg noodles are wheat flour, eggs, and water, which are mixed together to form a dough. The dough is then rolled, cut, and sometimes dried before being cooked. The eggs in the dough create a distinct texture and rich taste, setting it apart from other types of noodles.

Rice Noodles Origin

Rice noodles, on the other hand, originated in Vietnam and southern China. Their production process is quite different from egg noodles, as they primarily consist of rice flour and water. This creates a smooth, delicate texture that’s versatile and easily incorporated into various dishes. Rice noodles are especially popular in Southeast Asian cuisines, such as Vietnamese phở and Thai pad thai.

  1. Rice Noodle Production:
    1. Combine rice flour, water, and sometimes tapioca or cornstarch.
    2. Pour the mixture onto steaming trays.
    3. Steam until cooked and firm.
    4. Cut into desired shapes and sizes.

As rice noodles are gluten-free and egg-free, they provide an excellent alternative for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Both egg and rice noodles showcase the culinary histories of their respective regions, creating unique tastes and textures that continue to be enjoyed by people around the world today.

Nutritional Content and Health Aspects

Egg Noodles Or Rice Noodles?

Calories and Carbs

When comparing egg noodles and rice noodles, you’ll find differences in their caloric and carbohydrate content. Egg noodles have approximately 220 calories and 40 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving, while rice noodles contain around 206 calories and 44 grams of carbs in the same serving size. Note that rice noodles have a slightly higher glycemic index, which may impact blood sugar levels, making them a less suitable option for those with diabetes.

Protein and Fats

Protein and fat content also differ between the two types of noodles. Egg noodles have 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of total fat per 100-gram serving (including 1 gram of saturated fat). Rice noodles offer 3.6 grams of protein and 0.3 grams of fat (with virtually no saturated fat) per 100-gram serving. Therefore, egg noodles may be a better option for individuals seeking more protein, while rice noodles are lower in fat content.

Vitamins and Minerals

Egg noodles tend to have a slightly higher nutritional value regarding vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of B vitamins, such as thiamine (B1), folate (B9), and vitamin B12. However, both egg and rice noodles are low in vitamins A, E, and D. Concerning minerals, egg noodles contain iron, calcium, and magnesium, while rice noodles offer smaller amounts of these nutrients.

Dietary Considerations

Rice noodles have some advantages for those with specific dietary needs or preferences:

  • Gluten-free: Rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, making them a suitable option for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
  • Vegetarian and vegan: Rice noodles are free of animal products, catering to vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Low sodium: With significantly lower sodium content than egg noodles, rice noodles may be more suitable for those watching their salt intake.

In summary, your choice between egg noodles and rice noodles will likely depend on your dietary preferences and personal nutritional needs. Both types of noodles have their advantages and drawbacks, so consider your overall dietary requirements and how these noodles will fit into your meal plans.

Culinary Uses and Recipes

the only recipe I’ll never get sick of - rice noodle stirfry 🍜🤤

When it comes to Asian cuisine, the use of egg noodles and rice noodles varies depending on the dish, region, and personal preference. In this section, we will discuss some common dishes and regional varieties that utilize these noodles, as well as some recipes to help you create delicious dishes.

Common Dishes

Egg noodles are often associated with Chinese cuisine. They are great for dishes that have a savory or rich flavor, as their taste is more neutral and can absorb flavors well. Some common dishes that use egg noodles are:

  • Chow Mein: a popular stir-fry dish made with egg noodles, vegetables, and protein such as chicken, pork or shrimp.
  • Lo Mein: similar to chow mein, but with a softer noodle texture due to being boiled rather than fried.
  • Soup dishes: egg noodles add heartiness to soups like ramen or wonton soup.

Rice noodles, on the other hand, are more commonly found in Thai cuisine and other South-East Asian cuisines. They also have a neutral taste and do well in absorbing flavors. Here are some dishes featuring rice noodles:

  • Pad Thai: a famous stir-fry dish with rice noodles, a tangy tamarind-based sauce, vegetables, and protein such as shrimp or tofu.
  • Pho: a Vietnamese noodle soup that uses rice noodles and is typically served with beef or chicken.
  • Noodle salad: rice noodle salads provide refreshing flavors and can be enhanced with vegetables, herbs, and grilled proteins.

Regional Varieties

In addition to the dishes mentioned above, there are many regional variations that showcase each area’s unique culinary world. The following are just a few examples:

  • Chow Fun: a Cantonese dish made with wide rice noodles, bean sprouts, and soy sauce. It’s often served with beef or chicken.
  • Vermicelli: thin rice noodles used prominently in various Vietnamese dishes such as rice paper rolls and bun cha.
  • Thai noodle soups: an array of Thai soups utilizing rice noodles like Khao Soi, with a curry-based broth, and Tom Yum, with a spicy and sour lemongrass broth.

By exploring different recipes and trying out various dishes, you can appreciate the unique characteristics of both egg noodles and rice noodles. Don’t be afraid to experiment with substituting one type for the other, as you might find that your personal preference leans towards one or the other, or you may enjoy the contrast and versatility that both types provide.

Textural and Flavor Characteristics

Egg Noodles Properties

When you eat egg noodles, you’ll notice their slightly chewy and tender texture. This is due to the presence of eggs, which makes the dough denser and creates a more robust bite. As for their flavor, egg noodles have a richer taste compared to rice noodles, making them suitable for heavier sauces and gravies. A quick comparison of egg noodles’ properties:

  • Texture: Chewy and tender
  • Flavor: Richer taste
  • Suitable for: Heavier sauces and gravies

Rice Noodles Properties

On the other hand, rice noodles possess a smooth and delicate texture. Being lighter than egg noodles, they’re more likely to absorb the flavors of the dishes they’re served with. The absence of eggs creates a neutral taste, which brings the focus to the sauces and ingredients it complements. To sum up rice noodles’ characteristics:

  • Texture: Smooth and delicate
  • Flavor: Neutral taste
  • Suitable for: Lighter dishes and sauces

Cooking Methods and Instructions

Egg-Fried Rice Noodles with Chicken | Gordon Ramsay

Preparing Egg Noodles

To cook egg noodles perfectly every time, follow these simple steps:

  1. Boil water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. The amount of water depends on the desired amount of noodles to prepare.
  2. Salt: Adding a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water will enhance the flavor of the noodles.
  3. Add noodles: Gently place the egg noodles into the boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking together.
  4. Cooking time: Boil the noodles for the time specified on the package or until they reach the desired texture. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the noodles.
  5. Drain: Once cooked, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse briefly with cold water to stop the cooking process.
1Boil water
2Add salt
3Add noodles
4Cook for 8-10 minutes
5Drain and rinse

Preparing Rice Noodles

Preparing rice noodles is a bit different from cooking egg noodles, but it’s just as easy. Follow these steps for the optimum result:

  1. Soak: Unlike egg noodles, rice noodles need to be soaked before cooking. In a large bowl, soak the noodles in warm water for about 20-30 minutes or until they feel pliable and softened.
  2. Boil water: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
  3. Drain and rinse: Once the noodles are softened, drain the soaking water and give them a quick rinse.
  4. Cook: Place the rice noodles into the boiling water and cook for a short time, usually no more than 2-3 minutes. Overcooking the noodles can result in a mushy texture.
  5. Drain: Drain the cooked rice noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Here’s a summary to help you remember the steps:

1Soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes
2Boil water
3Drain and rinse soaked noodles
4Cook for 2-3 minutes
5Drain and rinse

Keep in mind the cooking times and methods for both egg and rice noodles and enjoy them in your favorite dishes!

Comparative Analysis

Differences and Similarities

Egg noodles and rice noodles have their origins in distinct culinary traditions, yet they share certain similarities. Egg noodles are made from wheat flour, salt, water, and of course, eggs. They are typically yellow in color due to the presence of egg yolks. Rice noodles, on the other hand, are made from rice flour – derived from ground rice – and water. Generally, no eggs or salt are added.

Both types of noodles can be found in various shapes and sizes, such as flat, thin, or wide. They can be used interchangeably in many dishes, but their distinct textures and flavors may affect the dish’s outcome. Egg noodles have a more robust, chewy texture, while rice noodles are lighter and more delicate in both taste and texture.

The ingredient composition of egg noodles and rice noodles also affects their nutritional content. Egg noodles contain more protein due to the eggs, while rice noodles are often lower in calories and fat.

Choosing the Right Noodle

Knowing the differences between egg noodles and rice noodles can help you make an informed decision based on your dish’s desired outcome and personal preferences. If you want a heartier noodle with more flavor and protein, egg noodles are an excellent choice. They work particularly well in richer sauces, stir-fries, or soups.

However, if you prefer a lighter and gluten-free option, or aim for a subtler flavor that lets other ingredients shine, rice noodles are the way to go. They are also commonly used in many Asian dishes, such as Vietnamese pho or Pad Thai.

Keep in mind that while they can often be used as substitutes for each other, the noodles’ distinct characteristics may change your dish’s overall taste and texture. When trying a new recipe or experimenting with flavors, keeping both types of noodles in your pantry can provide versatility in your culinary adventures.

Considerations for Special Diets

When choosing between egg noodles and rice noodles, it’s essential to consider any dietary restrictions or preferences you may have. This section will discuss some key factors to keep in mind for those with gluten intolerance, diabetes, and other special diet needs.

Gluten-Free Options

If you are gluten intolerant or have a gluten sensitivity, rice noodles are an excellent choice as they are naturally gluten-free. Made from rice flour and water, they are suitable for individuals who need to avoid gluten in their diets. On the other hand, egg noodles typically contain wheat flour, making them unsuitable for those who need to eliminate gluten from their meals.

The main gluten-free options are:

  • Rice noodles: A naturally gluten-free option suitable for those with gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
  • Alternative wheat-free noodles: Look for noodles made from gluten-free grains, such as quinoa or corn, if you prefer a different texture or taste.

Alternatives for Diabetics

For diabetics, controlling blood sugar levels is a crucial factor when selecting food. Both egg and rice noodles can affect blood sugar levels. However, there are some differences to consider:

  1. Glycemic Index (GI): Rice noodles have a higher glycemic index compared to egg noodles. A higher GI suggests that rice noodles might cause a more rapid spike in blood sugar levels.
Noodle TypeGlycemic Index Range
Rice NoodlesMedium to High (55-70)
Egg NoodlesLow to Medium (40-55)
  1. Portion Control: Regardless of the type of noodles chosen, it’s essential to practice portion control. Eating smaller portions and pairing your noodles with enough protein and fiber can help minimize blood sugar spikes.
  2. Whole Grain Alternatives: If you want to incorporate noodles into your diabetic meal plan, you can explore whole grain noodle options like whole wheat or soba noodles. These options have a lower GI and additional fiber, which can be beneficial for blood sugar management.

In summary, consider your special dietary needs when choosing between egg noodles and rice noodles. Rice noodles are the clear choice for those requiring gluten-free options, while diabetics may benefit from consuming egg noodles or whole grain alternatives in moderation and with portion control.

Brand and Product Selection

Evaluating Noodle Brands

When it comes to selecting the right brand for your noodles, quality and flavor are key factors to consider. First, look for brands that emphasize their ingredients’ quality and manufacturing process. You can also research customer reviews and ratings to gain insight into the brand’s overall reputation.

One way to choose a brand is to compare their product offerings. Here is a table with examples of some well-known brands and their popular choices:

BrandEgg Noodle ProductRice Noodle Product
BarillaEgg PappardelleGluten Free Rice Spaghetti
A Taste of ThaiN/ARice Noodles
Blue DragonN/ARice Noodles
No YolksExtra Broad Egg NoodlesN/A

Note how some brands offer only egg noodles or rice noodles, while others provide both options.

Noodle Variety and Availability

Next, consider the variety of noodles offered by each brand. Keep in mind that egg noodles and rice noodles come in different shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. Egg noodles typically include pasta-like shapes such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle. Rice noodles, on the other hand, range from thin vermicelli to wider flat noodles like pad Thai.

Your choice of noodle shape and size will largely depend on the dish you plan to make. For example:

  • If you’re making a stir-fry, opt for medium-sized rice noodles or egg noodles that hold up well during high-heat cooking.
  • For soups, thinner noodles like rice vermicelli or fine egg noodles would suit best.

Lastly, consider the availability of your chosen brand and product. Check if the product is easily accessible at your local grocery store or online. Additionally, take into account the price-point and determine if it fits within your budget. Keeping these factors in mind, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that satisfies your culinary needs.

Salads and Cold Dishes

Deviled Egg Noodle Salad - Food Wishes

When it comes to salads and cold dishes, both egg noodles and rice noodles can be a delicious base for your creations. However, the key factors to consider in your choice are the nutritional content, the texture, and the flavor profile of the noodles.

Egg noodles are typically more tender and have a richer flavor due to their egg content. They can offer a satisfying taste in salads with light dressings or simple vegetables. However, egg noodles contain more fats and calories compared to rice noodles. Here’s a brief comparison:

NutrientEgg Noodles Per 100gRice Noodles Per 100g

Figures may vary depending on brand and type of noodles

Rice noodles, on the other hand, are generally lighter in texture and taste, which makes them perfect for soaking up bold, tangy, and spicy flavors in salads. They are also a healthier option due to their lower fat content and gluten-free properties. Rice noodles also have a milder taste, allowing the flavors of your other salad ingredients to shine.

In terms of minerals, both types of noodles can offer benefits. Egg noodles provide higher amounts of magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, while rice noodles have more potassium and manganese. Thus, these noodles can contribute to a well-rounded nutritional profile in your salads and cold dishes.

When creating a noodle salad, it’s essential to select the right kind of noodle based on your desired outcome. For a more decadent and rich salad, opt for egg noodles. Meanwhile, if you’re aiming for a lighter, healthier dish with a focus on bold flavors, rice noodles would be a more suitable choice.

Lastly, when preparing your salads, be mindful of the additional ingredients as this will affect the overall health benefits of your dish. Bright, colorful vegetables, lean proteins, and light dressings can help elevate the nutritional content of your noodle salads, regardless of your choice of noodle base.

Stir-Fry and Hot Dishes

The Easiest Stir Fry Dish (Drunken Noodles)

When it comes to stir-fry and other hot dishes, the choice between egg noodles and rice noodles largely depends on your personal preferences. Both noodles have their own unique qualities and work well in many recipes.

Egg noodles have a higher protein content and a richer, chewier texture. They also take a shorter cooking time, which allows them to absorb flavors from the stir-fry ingredients with ease. Since egg noodles contain more fats, they tend to have a more satisfying mouthfeel. Here’s a simple recipe using egg noodles in a stir-fry:

  • Cook egg noodles according to package instructions
  • Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan
  • Add vegetables, proteins (such as chicken, beef, or tofu), and seasonings (soy sauce, ginger, garlic) to the pan
  • Stir-fry until ingredients are cooked through
  • Add cooked egg noodles and toss to combine

On the other hand, rice noodles are lighter and more delicate, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a gluten-free and lower-calorie option. They typically require soaking in hot water before adding them to your hot dish or stir-fry. Keep in mind that rice noodles can become mushy if overcooked, so it’s important to pay attention to their cooking time. Try the following recipe for a rice noodle stir-fry:

  • Soak rice noodles in hot water for a few minutes until softened
  • Drain and set aside
  • Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan
  • Add vegetables, proteins (such as shrimp, tofu, or chicken), and seasonings (fish sauce, lime juice, chilies) to the pan
  • Stir-fry until ingredients are cooked through
  • Add soaked rice noodles to the pan and toss to combine

Ultimately, the decision between egg noodles and rice noodles in your stir-fries and hot dishes will depend on your preferred texture, flavor, and dietary needs. There is no right or wrong choice; simply experiment with both types of noodles to discover the one that best complements your favorite dishes.

Substitution Tips and Tricks

When substituting egg noodles and rice noodles, various factors need to be considered, such as preferences, dietary restrictions, cooking time, carbohydrates, and taste and texture.

Preferences: Your personal preferences play a significant role in choosing between egg and rice noodles. If you enjoy a slightly richer and egg-flavored noodle, go for egg noodles. On the other hand, if you prefer a milder and slightly translucent noodle, rice noodles are your best bet.

Gluten-free: If you require a gluten-free option, rice noodles are the ideal choice as they are made from rice flour, while egg noodles contain wheat flour.

In terms of cooking time, there is a noticeable difference:

Egg NoodlesRice Noodles
8-10 minutes5 minutes

Keep in mind that rice noodles cook faster and can turn mushy if cooked for too long. Therefore, it’s essential to watch the cooking time closely.

Carbohydrates: Both egg and rice noodles contain carbohydrates, which is an important aspect for those who are monitoring their carb intake. The table below shows the carbohydrates in 100 grams of cooked noodles:

Egg NoodlesRice Noodles
25 grams23 grams

Choosing based on carbohydrates depends on your dietary goals and preferences.

As for the taste and texture, egg noodles have a firmer, chewier texture, slightly yellow in color, and a subtle egg flavor. In contrast, rice noodles offer a softer, delicate texture and a milder flavor.

Lastly, always consider the dish you are preparing. Some recipes work better with the distinct characteristics of one type of noodle over the other. For example, rice noodles are excellent in Pad Thai and Pho, while egg noodles shine in dishes like Lo Mein and Beef Stroganoff.

Keep these factors in mind when making your noodle substitutions, and you’ll be able to create satisfying and delicious dishes that cater to your needs and preferences.


When comparing egg noodles and rice noodles, it’s essential to consider their differences and benefits in both versatility and the culinary world. Each type of noodle has unique characteristics that can complement various dishes and personal dietary preferences.

In terms of versatility, rice noodles take the lead. With their neutral flavor, they can easily adapt to various dishes, making them a staple in Asian cuisine. From soups to stir-fries, rice noodles easily integrate into the dish without overpowering other flavors. Additionally, their gluten-free nature caters to those with dietary restrictions.

Egg noodles, on the other hand, bring a rich taste and texture to the table. They excel in dishes where their distinctive flavor enhances the overall experience, like in classic chicken noodle soup or stroganoff.

When it comes to the culinary world, both noodles have their place and offer unique advantages:

  • Egg Noodles
    • Rich in flavor
    • Distinctive eggy taste
    • Perfect for heavy sauces
    • Suited for European and American-style dishes
  • Rice Noodles
    • Neutral flavor
    • Adaptable to various dishes
    • Gluten-free
    • Predominantly utilized in Asian cuisine

Ultimately, the choice between egg noodles and rice noodles depends on the dish you want to create and your personal preferences. By understanding their individual properties and applications, you can elevate your cooking and create dishes that satisfy your taste buds.

Egg Noodles vs Rice Noodles

Here's a simple recipe using rice noodles:
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 277 kcal


  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • Crushed peanuts for garnish (optional


  • Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the bell pepper, carrot, broccoli, and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the skillet.
  • Add the cooked rice noodles to the skillet and toss to combine with the vegetables and sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with chopped green onions and crushed peanuts, if desired.
  • Serve the rice noodles hot and enjoy!


This recipe is customizable, so feel free to add your favorite protein such as tofu, chicken, or shrimp for a more substantial meal.


Calories: 277kcal
Keyword egg noodles vs rice noodles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Egg Noodles Healthy?

What are the nutritional differences between egg noodles and rice noodles?

Egg noodles and rice noodles both offer a similar number of calories and carbohydrates per serving. However, egg noodles contain more protein due to the addition of eggs during the production process. Rice noodles, on the other hand, are gluten-free, which is beneficial for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Can egg noodles be used as a substitute for rice noodles in a stir fry?

Yes, you can use egg noodles as a substitute for rice noodles in a stir fry. While the textures and tastes may differ slightly, both types of noodles work well in stir fry dishes. Just ensure that you cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions before adding them to your dish.

Which noodle type is better for individuals managing diabetes: egg or rice noodles?

For individuals managing diabetes, it is essential to consider the glycemic index (GI) of foods. Lower GI foods are more favorable as they cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Rice noodles generally have a lower GI than egg noodles, making them a better choice for those with diabetes. However, it’s important to balance the overall meal with other low-GI ingredients and monitor your portion size.

In terms of protein content, how do egg noodles compare to rice noodles?

Egg noodles have a higher protein content compared to rice noodles. This increase in protein is attributed to the eggs used in the production of egg noodles. If you’re looking for a more protein-rich noodle option, then egg noodles are a better choice.

Is Pad Thai traditionally made with rice noodles or can egg noodles be used?

Pad Thai is traditionally made with rice noodles. The dish usually features thin, flat rice noodles stir-fried with various ingredients such as tofu, shrimp, or chicken, and flavored with tamarind, fish sauce, and other spices. While you can experiment with egg noodles in Pad Thai, for an authentic taste, it’s best to stick with rice noodles.

For those looking to lower their carbohydrate intake, should they opt for egg noodles or rice noodles?

Egg noodles and rice noodles have comparable carbohydrate content per serving. If you’re looking to lower your carbohydrate intake, the differences between these two types of noodles are negligible. Instead, you may want to explore other low-carb alternatives like vegetable noodles made from zucchini or spaghetti squash, or try incorporating more protein and low-carb vegetables into your meals.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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