An article published on FriendsEat.com, Spencer Cooper tells us the codes to look for in determining what type of food we’re getting. You’re looking for the number in front of the four-digit Price Look Up, or PLU, code on the product you’re about to buy and subsequently put in your mouth. A 9 means organic, an 8 means genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO); and just the four-digit code means conventionally grown (i.e. pesticides, chemical fertilizer, stuff like that). The example Cooper gives us is clarifies all this:
A conventionally-grown banana will have a code of 4011
An organic banana will be 94011
A GE or GMO banana will be 84011
Snopes.com, however, has this to say:
Produce PLU Codes Reveal If It’s Organic, Transgenic or Conventional?
At the checkout counter, supermarket cashiers now rely on PLU (Price Look Up) codes to identify fruits and vegetables quickly, which ensures that the price is entered correctly. That way, you won’t have to rely on the
cashier for knowing the difference, both in look and price, between a Fuji apple and a Gala.
But the PLU of a fruit or vegetable can also provide information to consumers—whether it was genetically engineered, grown by organic methods or grown by conventional methods.
Each type of fruit or vegetable carries the PLU:
* on stickers on individual fruits and vegetables, like apples and winter squash,
* on tags used to hold together bunches of lettuce, broccoli and other similar loose vegetables,
* or on bags of produce such as potatoes or onions.
PLUs consist of 4 to 5 numbers.
* 4 numbers = conventional produce
* 5 numbers, starting with 9 = organic produce
* 5 numbers, starting with 8 = genetically engineered produce
PLU Codes Claim: Numeric PLU codes used on produce stickers identify how food products were grown.
TRUE: PLU codes used on produce stickers on produce stickers identify qualities such as how food products were grown.
FALSE: PLU codes are a reliable consumer guide found on all forms of produce grown,
Fri, 26 Jul 2013 11:23:21