Sticker Love

This post is brought to you by Pinterest.  If you haven’t jumped on the Pinterst bandwagon yet, that is fine. I will bring some of the goodness Pinterest has to offer, to you. 

ImageI stumbled across a gem of an article about that stupid sticker on every.single. produce item you buy at stores.  If you’re anything like me it’s a subtle annoyance every time you have to peel that sticker off.  A day I buy an apple that doesn’t have that sticker, is a small victory on my part. 

However, little did I know, all this time I’ve been throwing away a valuable piece of information with the flick of a finger.  That little sticker tells you A LOT about how the fruit/veggie was grown.  By reading the sticker (PLU code), you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown, or produced with fungicides/herbicides.  Pretty cool right?! 

Okay here are the rules:

  • 4 numbers in the PLU means: produce was grown conventionally with the use of pesticides. (For example, a traditionally grown banana will always have the code: 4011)
  • 5 numbers in the PLU and the number starts with “8” means: produce is genetically modified (GMO banana  code: 84011)
  • 5 numbers in the PLU and the number starts with “9” means: produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified (Organic banana code: 94011)

And in case you still aren’t washing your produce before consuming it, you’ll be glad to know that the “stick” in the sticker is considered food-grade.

I’m not going to toot the organic-horn too loudly here, but as a general rule of thumb, if you are going to eat the outside of a unit of produce (ie apple skin, any lettuces, grapes, etc) you should buy organic. ImageSo try matching up your produce with these PLU codes.  It was kind of fun to see that this system actually is used!

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2 thoughts on “Sticker Love

  1. Hmmm…I always thought the sticker was an edible addition – instead of scratch and sniff – peel and eat? I’ll have to stop eating them and start reading them instead. Good bit of information, but you left me hanging – why is it necessary that EVERY SINGLE PIECE is labeled? Can’t they just label the case or the bag? Is there some law they must comply with?

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