{FYI}: What Do the Stickers on Fruit Mean?

I thought I would pass along some info that I have learned this year. You might be in need of some fun facts.

I always wondered what the sticker numbers on produce meant…..and I think everyone should know the actual meanings of those numbered stickers that we peel off before washing our purchases!

We eat organic and all-natural whenever possible. So these numbers have become very important…and quite an eye opener.  This information was shared with me via a friend that is a nutritionist.

  1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally with the use of pesticides here in the US. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. For example: all bananas are labeled 4011.
  2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with 8, this means that the fruit/vegetable is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable or GMO. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables override being organic. So, it’s possible to eat organic produce that’s grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
  3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with 9, this means that the fruit/vegetable was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011
Go for the 9’s, guys! Start looking at these important numbers….so many people think that they are buying healthy, organic produce; but if it has been genetically modified it is pretty much equal health wise  as the conventionally grown with pesticides.
Now you know…….the rest of the story.
PS Anyone else remember Walter Cronkite? I just loved him growing up……when he came on I knew it was almost dinner!
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  1. says

    Interesting. Can you take a poll to find out how many people have accidentally eaten the little sticker no matter how many numbers were on it? I’d have to raise my hand at least once.


    • says

      Me, too! In the info that my friend sent me she noted that the adhesive that is used on the stickers is approved by the FDA to be edible….the stickers are not. ha!

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