We all have noticed some labels or stickers on certain veggies and fruits. But, do you know what they actually mean? Specifically, these stickers reveal a lot of information about the product.
In addition, the PLU code, or also referred to as price lookup number, which is printed on the sticker, reveals information about the way the fruit was grown. In short, this code reveals whether the product you’re about to purchase was organically grown, genetically modified, or loaded with pesticides, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or fungicides.
Here Is How to Identify What These PLU Codes Mean:
– If the sticker has a 5-digit PLU code, which starts with the number 9, then it means that the produce is grown according to the USDA organic standards. In other words, it means that the produce is organically grown.
– A 4-digit code, which starts with the number 3 or 4 shows that the produce was loaded with pesticides. Moreover, it also indicates that the fruit or veggie were conventionally grown.
– In case the sticker has a code with 5 digits beginning with the number 3, it shows that the fruit or veggie were irradiated or electronically pasteurized.
– If the sticker has a PLU code with 5 digits that start with the number 8, it means that the produce was genetically modified. Unfortunately, no one can grow organic fruits or vegetables by using genetically modified seeds.
– In case the PLU code begins with the number 6, it suggests that the produce was pre-cut.
– If there is not any sticker on the produce you are about to purchase, then it may be suspicious. However, in case you know the manufacturer, you should not worry about these codes on the stickers and labels. Keep in mind that all imported veggies and fruits are labeled.
So, in case the produce does not have any stickers, it means that it is not imported or the sticker may be removed for some reason.
Additionally, the International Federation for Produce Standards hand out these codes. It is actually a global organization that assigns codes to fruit being sold throughout the world. Furthermore, the retail industry requires using them on produce to assist with point-of-sale identification.
Therefore, next time you’re about to purchase some fruits or veggies, check the code found on their stickers to find out how they were grown.
- Avery, Alex. ”The Truth About Organic Foods”;
- International Federation for Produce Standards. ”PLU Codes Frequently Asked Questions”;