Have you ever wondered what the numbers on some of the foods you buy really mean? It’s actually a lot more important than you think.
The digits you see printed on stickers are also known as the price look-up code (PLU).
The four or five digit numbers that you see help to identify foods that are genetically modified, organically grown or conventionally produced (use of pesticides/herbicides). Here’s what you need to know:
4-Digit PLU Code
The 4-digit PLU codes you see on apples, for example, tell the checkout lady which is a small Fuji (4129) and which is a Honeycrisp (3283). She’ll know what to charge you and the inventory elves will know what’s what. (source)
If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally with the use of artificial pesticides.
5-Digit PLU Code
1. Starts with “8”: If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8”, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011.
According to the World Health Organization, “GMOs can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally”.
2. Starts with “9”: Any number starting with a nine is organic. It is grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011.
How Reliable Are These PLU Codes?
Except for number 9, all the other numbers are pretty much useless. Why?
Because number 8 wasn’t designed to be used by consumers. It was created so that retailers could distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. (source)
Since GMO labeling isn’t required across the country, most grocery stores don’t use the number 8. And why would they? Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled.
In other words, you might be seeing a 4-digit code on a produce, but that doesn’t guarantee that it’s not a GMO.
Here’s a quick graph that show, the 10 GMO crops (in green) being produced in the United States and approved for commercial use. (source)
For more information about this table go here.
4 Tips To Avoid GMOs
- Buy organic.
- Look for products labeled “GMO free.”
- Download the Non-GMO Shopping Guide here.
- Buy foods that are locally grown and in season.
- USDA Says: Okay To Ship U.S. Chickens to China for Cheap Processing Then Back Home For You to Eat
A new shipping and processing policy allowing chickens raised and slaughtered in the U.S. to be shipped to China for …
- Inhaling This Salt Stops Sinus Infections, Reduces Mucus Build Up & Helps You Sleep!
Did you ever notice how your hair, skin, and lungs feel great after spending the day by the ocean? That’s …
- This Is What Happens To Your Body The Day You Stop Eating Bread
Bread is a staple of the western diet. Most restaurants always keep it stocked on the dinning table while many …
- This Is What Happens When An Animal Shelter Partners With An Elderly Care Facility
Pets give love and companionship that can turn someone’s life around. For elderly people who don’t get to see their …
- Orgasm Hard To Add Years To Your Life
Good news for just about everyone who wants to live longer: having more orgasms might tack years onto your life. …
- Toxicity and Nutrient Deficiency Cause Chronic Disease
Over the past 150 years throughout the coming of age of the industrialized world, what we eat and how we …
- ‘Good Bacteria’ On Your Skin Help Regulate Immune Function
Healthy skin, like a healthy gut, should have a diversity of microorganisms on it, according to a new study. What is …
- How To Get Silky Smooth Feet With This Natural Treatment Using Baking Soda
Soft, well groomed smooth feet are important to many woman. With uncomfortable shoe designs, errands to run, and jobs that …
- These 5 Habits Are Harming Your Immune System And Ruining Your Health
From everyday airborne allergens to countertop bacteria, your immune system is a complex network that is constantly battling to keep …
- 6 Ways Your Hands Can Help Predict Future Health Conditions
Hands can tell a lot about a person, how they’ve lived and how healthy they are. Recent studies show that …
- It Tightens The Skin Better Than Botox: This 3 Ingredients Face Mask Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger
Your skin is a window to your physical and emotional health. If you’re having a bad day, your skin will …
- 5 Foods To Protect Your Skin From UV Radiation
The food you eat can make a dramatic impact on how your skin looks. Certain foods, in particular, can promote …
- Drink This 3-ingredient Tea to Cleanse Your Lungs of Phlegm, Toxins, and Inflammation
Everybody catches a cold and flu from time to time. Some suffer chronic respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. Mucus …
- Canadian Clay Kills Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria On Contact
Is healing clay a reasonable treatment option for modern-day ills? It may become one. As we move closer and closer …
- 25 Indoor Plants That Can Filter Air Pollutants Out of Your Home And Improve Air Quality
We know that we depend on plants for the air we breathe. They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out …