Quick Tip: Fruit and Vegetable Sticker Codes

It’s hard to believe that those irritating little labels stuck on fruits and vegetables provide beneficial information to everyday consumers.  Although their purpose is actually intended for the International Federation for Produce Standards, these stickers quickly and easily identify whether fruit is full of pesticides and chemicals, when it’s genetically modified and even when it’s organic.  Additionally,  knowing the basics of sticker codes allows you to double check the produce your choosing, ensuring your buying what you really want.

The codes are applied to fruits and vegetables, as well as herbs and nuts, although labels are typically found only on fruits.  The labels consist of four or five numbers and are divided into three categories: conventional, genetically modified, and organic.

Conventional – A 4-digit number: four-digit coded fruit is conventionally raised (potentially contaminated with pesticides, chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers).

GMO – A 5-digit number, the first number is an 8: This fruit is genetically modified, a GMO.  It contains genes that were not put there by nature, in other words, scientists are using technology to transfer the genes of one species to another.

Organic – A 5-digit number, the first number is a 9: This fruit has been grown to the standards defined by the National Organic Standards Board (potentially free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides).

For Example: Bananas

#4011 conventional     #84011 genetically modified     #94011 organic



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