You have probably seen the stickers on vegetables or fruits while shopping at the grocery store. Have you ever known the importance of the stickers? Normally, they contain the barcode for the product. It helps the cashier to easily identify the product and the price of the purchase made.
However, there is more to the sticker than PLU or barcode identification. The sticker helps in identifying how the produce was grown.By correctly reading the code, it will tell whether the fruit or vegetable was organically grown or herbicides, chemical fertilizers or fungicides were used.
Analyzing the labels and the PLU number may sound like a Herculean task. It is easier than you imagine.
Basic facts behind PLU codes
Four numbers: Four numbers in the PLU code indicates that the produce was grown traditionally using pesticides. The last four digits of the code indicate the kind of fruit. For instance, the banana code is 4011.
Five digits and it start with 8: They are genetically modified produces. A GMO banana would be 84011
Five numbers starting with number 9: The produce was organically grown. It is not genetically modified, though. An organic banana code would be 94011
The stickers are not safe for consumption. For more information, visit Environmental Working Groups. You will find a list of clean and tampered produces.
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