There is one important thing in my mind when buying fresh fruits and vegetables: Identify Organic vs Conventional Produce With PLU Codes.
When I started making better food choices, I also learned how to read labels. I think it is so important to know what you are eating and where it comes from.
I try to buy organic food as much as possible. If you are interested in knowing more about the topic, please see my post: Powerful Reasons Why You Should Buy Organic Food.
One cool trick I discovered for knowing if the produce was organic or conventional was reading PLU codes.
What are PLU Codes? They are 4 or 5 digit numbers that you can find on a small sticker applied to the individual piece of fresh produce. These numbers are assigned by the The International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), after rigorous review at both national and international levels.
Identify Organic vs Conventional Produce With PLU Codes
1. Organic Produce. A 5 digit code that starts with the number “9” means the produce is organic. This also means you are staying away from GMOs since all organic produce grows naturally without the use of chemicals.
2. Conventional Produce. A 4 digit code that starts with the number “4” means the produce is conventional (grown with the use of chemicals and pesticides). You could potentially be buying a GMO as well.
3. Genetically Modified Produce. The IFPS assigned a 5 digit code that starts with the number “8” for all GMO produce. The problem is GMO produce does not require labeling and the code is therefore not used as of right now.
Thankfully, the kinds of GMO produce in the U.S. at the moment are very limited. They can include: Hawaiian papayas, zucchini, yellow squash, and corn on the cob. Try to buy those organic to be safe.
We do not know what other genetically modified produce will show up at the supermarket in the future. Hopefully, the PLU code for GMOs will be required in the future. Until then, remember that the only sure way you can avoid GMOs is buying organic produce.
Here’s a list of produce with the highest pesticide residues so you can avoid them if you cannot buy everything organic. (SOURCE):
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Grapes (Imported)
Knowing how to Identify Organic vs Conventional Produce With PLU Codes is a fantastic tool if you want to stay away from chemicals, pesticides, and learn more about your produce.
Stay healthy and eat lots of fruits and veggies!
If you are interested in reading more about my blog, please take a look at my latest articles. I am a mom blogger who loves to share creative and healthy fun food ideas.
I also believe kids deserve to eat real food. If you are interested, please check out my recipes for easy to make, healthy, and homemade family meals. I am not a chef or have many years of experience cooking. So most of my recipes are very easy to prepare.