Unlike processed or boxed foods, your fruit and vegetables do not have a nutritional label on them. So how do you know what choices to make. They may not have a nutritional label, but they do have a sticker. The sticker is the PLU or Price Look Up Code and it can tell you a lot!
Did you know that 7 out of 10 items found on the shelves of your grocery store contain ingredients that have been genetically modified! So the next time you decide to purchase produce (I’m a big fan of bananas and watermelon), and you are concerned about the nutritional value of your choices, consider the following information regarding the PLU sticker.
This sticker will tell you whether the fruit was produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides or herbicides; genetically modified or organically grown.
There are many variations of codes on the PLU stickers, but here are some to be aware of:
- PLU stickers that begin with “3” or “4” indicate that the produce was conventionally grown. What this means is that the produce was sprayed with weed killers and/or chemical pesticides.
- PLU stickers that begin with “8” indicate that the produce was GENETICALLY ENGINEERED. This means that the produce genes were manipulated to produce a larger or brighter colored food! This may also mean that the produce was chemical treated.
- PLU stickers that start with “9” indicate that the produce was raised ORGANICALLY. You can also be sure that the produce was not treated with any chemicals.
There is a lot of research out there today about the difference between genetically modified, conventionally grown or organic produce, which suggest that there are real and significant differences in the nutrient content. However, a lot of the labeling can be misleading, and I hope that this summary helps somewhat when you are making your produce choices in the grocery store.
- Jocelyn -