We all take for granted those little stickers on the fruit and vegetables that we buy at grocery stores.
Sometimes we curse as we forget they are on there and bite right into them! But have you ever asked yourself what the purpose of these stickers are in the first place? Why annoy customers with stickers they have to remove or else end up biting into. These stickers are codes to keep track of inventory while speeding up and streamlining the check out procedure. These PLU (price look-up) codes actually contain a lot of information as they identify the produce, variety and price. Naturally this greatly cuts down on human error.
There’s even more information that these codes contain. You can tell whether or not the food was genetically modified and whether it was produced with fertilizers, herbicides, or actually organically grown.
Here are things to know about the PLU code:
-If it begins with 0 or has only four numbers total, this means the food was traditionally produced, which means pesticides were used.
-If it has five total numbers, and begins with 8, this means that it is GMO (genetically modified). So it’s not traditionally produced, nor is it organically produced.
-If it begins with a 9, and has five numbers total, then this means it is organic. So these foods would be free from pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and sythetic fertilizers.
Obviously you can also look for the 100% organic USDA certified label as well to find organics, which is a strictly regulated label, as opposed to the “GMO-free” or “non-GMO” labels which are not government regulated. This is where the PLU code comes in handy. To increase profit, the non-GMO label is bandied about but there’s no certainty to it, where as the PLU code can tell the true tale of the tape. To be certain, look for a 5 digit PLU that starts with a number 9 and packaging that clearly states the product is labeled as USDA certified, 100% organic.
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