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    How To: Read Produce Stickers

    May 9, 2011 •  3 comments.

     •  Blog, News

    Written by Sophie Uliano of GorgeouslyGreen.com as seen on My Gloss

    Those really annoying little stickers that you have to peel off your apples should be paid attention to, as they have a code on them, which tells you whether or not they are organic or genetically modified. With all the recent business about whether or not we should know if our food is genetically modified or not – hello…OF COURSE we have a right to know!! – it’s useful to at least be able to de-code produce stickers.

    All you need to know is that every produce item that’s sold in a grocery store comes with a 4-digit PLU (price look-up) code on the sticker. Some produce items have an extra digit added to the beginning – a number 8 or a number 9. 8 means that it is genetically modified, 9 means that it is organic.

    Here’s how I remember:

    3 or 4 is a BORE

    8 – I HATE

    9 is FINE

    So the next time you go grocery shopping check out the stickers, especially in stores like Whole Foods, which purport to carry everything organic, but when you start looking at those stickers, you’ll realize that you have to sometimes hunt long and hard to find digits beginning with a #9.

    Finally, here’s a quick reminder of the produce items that you really do need to buy organic (because of pesticide exposure), listed in descending order of importance:

    1. Strawberries (and all berries)

    2. Peaches

    3. Nectarines

    4. Pears

    5. Apples

    6. Celery

    7. Sweet Bell Peppers

    8. Potatoes

    9. Spinach

    10. Lettuce

    Sophie Uliano is a passionate environmentalist who has developed an earth-friendly lifestyle that appeals to women who don’t want to compromise their glamour and style. She is the New York Times Best Selling author of “Gorgeously Green”, “The Gorgeously Green Diet,” and the newly released “Do It Gorgeously Gloss How To: Read Produce Stickers.”

    Read more amazing tips from Sophie at GorgeouslyGreen.com

      3 Responses to “How To: Read Produce Stickers”

      1. Thank you. This is invaluable!!!

      2. Jerri

        I read somewhere that the 4 meant the produce was irradiated. Is there truth to that? I can’t find much on it.

      3. Those little stickers do tell us so much! Thanks for breaking them down. I also look for the country of origin on the sticker – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found produce that is advertised as ‘locally grown’ but has the word ‘Mexico’ on the sticker.

        I wonder, has anyone ever actually seen a sticker beginning with an 8? Since it’s voluntary to label GMO status in North America, is anyone actually doing it?

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