Many people are trying to eliminate GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) from their diet, but sometimes it may seem tricky trying to figure out which produce at the grocery is organic is which has been genetically modified. The process is actually quite simple. If organic, and thus not modified, packaged produce will bear a label stating that it is “organic” or “100% organic”. For items that you select and bag yourself, the produce will bear a small sticker that contains either a 4 or 5 digit PLU code. Here are what the codes mean:
- a 4 digit code means your produce was grown using conventional methods. These foods are not genetically modified but they are grown using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
- a 5 digit code beginning with the number 8 means your produce has been genetically modified.
- a 5 digit code beginning with the number 9 means your produce has been organically grown and is free from chemical and modifications.
If you purchase your fruits and veggies from a farmers’ market, fruit stand or co-op, the produce will most likely not be labelled. Be sure to ask the people selling the produce how it was grown. If they can’t give you a reassuring and convincing answer, you should move on.