Don’t go to the grocery store again for produce until you have armed yourself with this valuable information! You know those little stickers, also known as PLU codes or price look up codes, that are on the produce? Those codes are not only for the clerk to ring you up, but there is a wealth of information packed in that little code for you the consumer!
Each kind of produce is assigned a 4 digit code that begins with a 3 or a 4.
However, you might notice that some produce has a 5 digit code that begins with an 8 or a 9. Learning to decipher these codes will tell you a whole lot about how that produce was grown.
Produce with a 4 digit code beginning with a 3 or a 4 is grown conventionally. Produce with a 5 digit code beginning with a 9 is grown organically, and produce with a 5 digit code beginning with an 8 is genetically modified.
Conventionally grown produce allows for synthetic pesticides to be used, which can leave pesticide residue on the food. Organically grown produce uses natural pesticides that break down easier and are less likely to pollute land and water. GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms, are new organisms that are not found in nature, but have been created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants.
Have you ever seen a sticker with a 5 digit code beginning with an 8, indicating GMO’s? I searched high and low and could not find one. That may seem comforting to you to know that your local store is not selling genetically modified organisms, but beware!!! It is not mandatory to disclose GMO’s! Many manufacturers growing GMO’s have chosen to omit the 8. The good thing is that there are very few genetically modified organisms in the produce section. If you’re cautious about GMO’s buy organic papaya, zucchini, yellow squash, and corn and you should be able to avoid them.
Now that you are armed for battle, hit the grocery store with full confidence that you will make the best choices for yourself and your family!