How to Read a Produce Sticker

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Have you ever wondered what the numbers on the produce stickers mean?

produce sticker meaning
(Photo courtesy of livingwiththewebers.com)

How to Read a Produce Sticker

1. If there are 4 numbers in the PLU (Price Look-Up) code and the number starts with 3 or 4, the produce was grown conventionally with the use of pesticides.  The last four letters of the PLU indicates the kind of vegetables or fruit.

kiwi fruit plu code
(Photo courtesy of www.marksdailyapple.com)

mango plu
(Photo courtesy of thedelicioustruth.blogspot.com)

2. If there are 5 numbers in the PLU code and the number starts with 9, the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified.

organic banana
(Photo courtesy of wellnessmadenatural.com)

organic orange
(Photo courtesy of wdiet.net)

 

3. If there are 5 numbers in the PLU code and the number starts with 8, the produce is genetically modified.

food label gmo
(Photo courtesy of dehydratingwaybeyondjerky.blogspot.com)

I could not find another picture with a PLU that started with 8.  I find that pretty scary but not surprising since there is such a push to get GMOs labeled.  You can sign the national boycott to label GMOs here.

Consumers should be aware that PLU codes are an option which is used for the convenience of the suppliers and grocers and not consumers.  So not all produce, especially genetically modified, are so labeled.  There is an application on the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) website to search PLU codes and find out what products they identify.

produce_codes

(Photo courtesy of www.biologicaldentist.com)

It’s all about the journey…

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