But unfortunately, most consumers disregard these sticky little labels and simply buy what’s on their shopping list. These stickers with numbers are actually very informative and every smart buyer should know.
The Price Look Up or PLU Label
The label you observe on the fruits and vegetables that you buy at your local stores are known as price look up or PLU labels. They are used by consumers to learn whether the produce is treated with pesticides or not. They are also useful in determining if the fruits and veggies are genetically modified.
Before deciphering the codes, you may want to know what the actual labels are. The stickers may be incomprehensible using their numerical codes, but the majority of us rip them from the produce. You might be wondering list of positive actions with the stickers after purchasing the fruits or vegetables. The response to this depends on the maker of the PLU stickers. They could be manufactured from paper, vinyl fabric, or plastic.
Based on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) though, the adhesive on the sticker labels are actually food quality additive. While they aren’t really edible, however they can be digested by your body, meaning they are going to go through the digestive system if you unintentionally eat them. Nevertheless, you ought not expect that they can give you some nutrients as many people may tell you. Additionally, when you dispose of the stickers, make sure you don’t throw them with the peels from fruits & vegetables as they will contaminate them and the stickers themselves don’t break down.
With those out of the way, it’s time to get back to what these stickers really mean. Here’s how you can decipher the codes easily:
- Four Digits: If the codes have three to four digits, they indicate that they are conventionally-grown produce. They have been treated with pesticides, which means you should wash them thoroughly.
- Five Digits: If the sticker has five digits and the first number is 8, this means that the produce has been altered genetically. In the mean time, if the first number is 9, this means that it can be an organically grown food. Some produce should be organically grown to guard your health.
Typically, organically grown produce are more costly than genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You are able to research the PLU label online, but ensure that you don’t are the first number if it’s a five-digit code.