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Do you know what the numbers on produce stickers mean? It’s really important!

  • February 9, 2017
numbers on produce stickers

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Hi Friends,

The healthier you become, the more conscious you become in the food store. Do you ever find yourself reading every ingredient on every product before you buy it? (and getting frustrated while doing it!) Yes, same here.

How about the numbers on produce stickers? Have you noticed them? Do you know what they mean? They are actually SUPER important if you aren’t already aware. They tell you a lot about the food you’re eating!

The bar codes on produce each have a number associated with it. They are actually called “Product Look-Up” or PLU codes. This number will typically start with an 8, 9, 4 or 3. It’s the first number of the sequence that holds the must have information about the produce you’re about to buy.

If the number starts with a 3 or 4:

The fruit or vegetable has been conventionally grown. They are neither GMO or organic. This means it has been grown with pesticides, but is not genetically modified. Sadly, conventionally grown sounds so “normal”, but it really shouldn’t be. Make sure to wash this food thoroughly before eating to make sure you get as much of the pesticides off as possible.

If the number starts with a 9:

These are the ones we love! If the sticker begins with a 9 that mean’s it is organic. This is how food is meant to be grown and how it was grown for thousands of years until conventional farming took over and no one knew. Some people in older generations have such a hard time understanding “organic”. Organic is what they always had and they didn’t think anything changed. But you know it has so attempt to buy organic!

If the number starts with an 8:

STAY AWAY! All 5 digit codes beginning with an 8 are genetically modified. There are mixed opinions about genetically modified foods, but in my opinion they aren’t safe and there is not nearly enough research on them. I stay away from GMO foods as much as possible.

In conclusion: “8 don’t take. 9 is fine. 3 or 4 must be washed.” Always refer to the list of dirty dozen or clean fifteen before you head to the grocery store. Remember these PLU codes! Happy produce eating! 🙂

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