Saturday, September 05, 2009

PLU Codes on Fresh Fruit - Conventional or Organic

If you look at the sticky label that comes on fresh produce you buy at the grocers, you can learn a bit about how the fruit was grown from the Price Look-Up (PLU) code. This code helps identify the produce at checkout.

Here's how to decipher the stickers.
Items that are conventionally grown have four-digit PLU codes that begin with the number 3 or 4, while their organically grown counterparts have codes that are five digits long and begin with the number 9. For instance, a conventionally grown banana is labeled 4011, while an organic banana is labeled 94011. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables are rare finds but can be identified by five-digit PLU codes that begin with the number 8. For instance, genetically modified bananas would be labeled 84011. A code number beginning with 6 identifies precut fruits and vegetables.

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