What PLU Stickers Really Mean

Have you ever wondered what those small stickers on produce are for? Next time you're at the grocery store looking for some fresh fruit and vegetables, you may want to pay close attention. These small stickers, known as PLU stickers do more than just tell the cashier how much to charge.

PLU Stickers & What They Mean
Next time your out picking up some apples, check to see how many digits appear and what the first number in the series is. As you can see by the image below, these numbers reveal if your fruit is Organic, Conventional, or Genetically Modified.

Organic Produce is identified with a 5-digit number that starts with 9. Produce identified as "organic" ensures that the produce was not treated with chemicals during the growing process.

Genetically Modified Produce (GMO) is also identified with a 5-digit number, but this particular classification starts with the number 8. Genetically modified produce is where man and science have intervened by physically altering or manipulating the genes in the produce to generate a larger and or brighter colored product. In addition, this product may have been treated with chemicals.

Conventional Produce is identified with a four-digit number. As noted above, conventional produce has been subjected to pesticides. In addition, it is likely that chemical fertilizers, weedkillers, herbicides and/or fungicides have also been used during the growing process.

So next time you're out and about shopping for some product, take a closer look at that small sticker -- it may just tell you a thing or two about the produce you're buying.




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