Don’t Go Bananas! Easy Ways to Remember What Those Produce Labels Mean

Easy ways to remember what those produce labels meanIf you haven’t already, take a closer look at those little sticky labels on the fruit and vegetables you buy at the grocery store.  Those numbers provide important information regarding just how the produce was grown.  So even is something is marked as organic, the sticker will reassure you that it is.

If the label has:

  • 4 digits only: The produce was grown in a conventional manner which means with pesticides and other petroleum based chemicals or fertilizers.
  • 8 + 4 digits: This produce is genetically modified, a GMO. It contains genes that were put there by someone else other than Mother Nature.
  • 9 + 4 digits: This produce has been grown following organic farming practices.

In other words try this for a creative, (or perhaps hokey), attempt to remember:

4 in the store means pesticides knocking at my door.

8 is not at all great with all those GMO’s that I hate.2017 DD C15

9 is fresh and fine. Organic and healthy for me and mine.

Now to keep it all straight, dovetail and download the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, also known as the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list as a handy reference.

So there you have it! No need to go bananas with trying to keep up with all this information.  And when it’s time to clean your fruit and veggies, keep these homemade recipes and tips in mind too.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori Alper April 28, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Such great information-thanks so much! I honestly had no idea what the codes meant. I’m off to share this…..

2 Jeanne April 29, 2011 at 1:28 am

Hey thanks Lori! Appreciate the feedback! Let me know if you find 8 + in your stores…I have not found in my big box grocery chain but always on the lookout!

3 Molly Conley May 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm

I’ll have to take a closer look at this in my grocery store. From what I understood, the apples I buy (organic) have 5 numbers. I’ve never noticed any longer numbers plus 4, but then again…I’ve never known to look! Thanks for the info!!

4 Jeanne May 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm

To clarify, for organic it is the number 9 then 4 other digits for a total of five numbers. Likewise for a GMO product, the number 8, then 4 digits. Conventional grown produce always has four numbers only. For more information you can search PLU codes at: Thanks!

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