Many people have no idea what the labels on fruits and vegetables for sale in stores, supermarkets and others mean. Some people even think that these labels are just there to determine the price of the product. But, there is more than that, these labels make it possible to determine if the fruit is organic or not. You must learn to distinguish.
If you are used to buying fruit and vegetables in shops and supermarkets, you may have noticed the numbers on the labels attached to these products. These figures have a meaning and it may not be what you thought all this time.
The numbers on the labels are called the “P.L.U codes”, an acronym that corresponds to the “Price look up” anglicism. They have been set by the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), and are used by retail companies to facilitate checkout procedures.
In addition to serving as a means of controlling the inventory and price of fruits and vegetables, PLU codes are also used to determine whether they are produced organically or whether they are genetically modified or produced with chemical fertilizers, herbicides or fungicides.
A 4-digit code starting with the number 3 or 4 means that the product has been grown in a conventional manner. That is, it was grown on a farm where chemicals and pesticides were used. The last digits of the code indicate the type of fruit or vegetable you are buying. (Ex. Bananas are labeled with code 4011).
If there are 5 numbers, and the first digit is “8”, it means that the product has been genetically modified. In this case, taking the example of bananas, they are labeled with the codes “84011.” In short, when you have a number 8 in the first position, it means that the product is not organic.
Any fruit or vegetable labeled with a 5-digit code that begins with a “9”, is organic. That is, it was grown without the use of chemicals. Organic bananas are labeled with the code “94011.”
The consumption of fruits and vegetables produced from pesticides and other chemicals, can be detrimental to health. For your health and well-being, opt for those who are organic.