On a normal grocery run, you may or may notice the small stickers on the side of your fruits and veggies. Most of us are more focused on the prices and not really interested in the white tag adhered to the food. Now of course once the item in brought more you spend the time to remove and wash off the remnants of the stickers being there. What does this little white pest signify?
The Stickers called PLU's (Price/Product Look UP) coded labels. This is helpful not only to the cashier to use to make to you're being charged the correct price. This also can be helpful to yourself. The numbers are coded in a way the also help consumers understand what they're paying for and consuming. To help to a clearer view now this I will break down the information into three groups.
Traditional - Conventional
When you see a sticker with only four numbers, beginning with a 3 or 4 this means that your produce was grown conventionally or "traditionally". This means the produce is grown with the use of some type of pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and/or herbicides. Below a Kiwi from a New Zealand farm beginning with a 4, apples from a Michigan farm beginning with the number 3 and a pear beginning with the number 3.
A five-digit code that starts with an 8, makes many health conscious consumers wary. The number 8 being the first number in the code, means the item is genetically modified or genetically engineered (created and/or enhanced with genes from other organisms). There is much debate about GMO food in the U.S. In other regions, such as Asia and Europe, consumers there demand that their food be free of genetically modified ingredients. Europe believes that this kind of food will do more harm to the body than just warding off food droughts. In America, you can easily buy genetically modified versions of squash, soybeans, corn, canola, tomatoes, papaya and even cotton (to name a few).
A five-digit number beginning with a 9 means the item is organic. To receive that little USDA ORGANIC label, strict adherence must be done. Being certified Organic means that the produce is free from any method of genetic modifications, radiation, or sewage. Produce that is stated as 100% Organic must use all certified Organic ingredients and organic processing. Perhaps, you may have seen a product that says for example, "ABC Banana Bread made with Organic bananas." This is because multi-ingredient products with less than 70% of certified organic ingredients (not including salt and water), does not need certification.
Keep in mind
Healthy choices, healthy eating, healthy body.