Picture this. You gallantly glaze at your apple, your prized possession. You had a long day, you pick up your apple with glee and bite into it. With a sour look on your face you become agitated, frustrated. Yes you did it again. You just bit off one of those pesky numeric stickers that is on every fruit and vegetable known to man-kind. Great that just made your day. But don’t get all hasty about it. Although they do seem annoying, however the codes may just save your life.
As I discovered my way into raw foods, I gravitated to eating more fruits and vegetables. So one day I asked myself, what is the story behind those annoying labels that I constantly bite into. Many of you may not know what it all means or you may already know what it is but forgot what each number represents. Well here’s a refresher course. The numeric code that’s attached to every fruit and vegetable is known as a price lookup number or PLU. It’s a code that helps with the cashiers at check out as they ring up the items and it also helps stabilizes the stores inventory. The numbers are a four digit code ranging from 3000 to 4999. A fifth digit is added to the code for fruits or vegetables that were produced non-traditionally. The fruits can either be grown organically, genetically modified or they were produced conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides or any other chemical fertilizers.
So now you know why the labels are added on the fruits, here are what the codes stand for:
4 digit PLU number starting with a 3 or 4 is “Conventionally grown”
5 digit PLU number starting with a 9 is “Organically grown and not genetically altered”
5 digit PLU number starting with an 8 is “Genetically modified or genetically engineered”
If you’re still having trouble remembering the meaning behind these numbers like I do here’s a little rhythm,
8-> We hate (Because they are genetically modified, GMO or GE)
9-> We’re fine (Because its organic)
3 or 4 -> Are standard in stores but always wash before (Because the use of chemicals always wash before eating them)
So now you know what it stands for here’s another little note. The stickers are food-grade but unfortunately you cannot eat them. So the next time you go shopping, remember the rhythm below.
8 we hate, 9 we’re fine, 3 or 4 are standard in stores but always wash before,
and spoil yourself raw’tn!!!