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Is That Food Organic? Labels Tell You: 3 4 8 9 ???

What do these labels mean on fruit and vegetables?

What do these labels mean on fruits and vegetables?

These PLU numbers are the “Product Look-Up Numbers”.  The leading number gives you useful information, if you know the code…

I remember the code on fruit and veggies using a simple rhyme…

8, I hate. It’s GMO!  :-(

9 is fine.  Organic.  :-)

All others, like 3 or 4, are neither GMO or organic.  They are conventionally grown.  This means the growers could have applied poisons to the food, including pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizer.  But the food itself is not genetically modified.

8, I Hate

I never buy food labeled 8, because that’s the one I hate. GMO food has not been sufficiently tested for safety, in my opinion. Where are the studies showing GMO food is safe? And why are companies like Monsanto and Bayer modifying the genetic code in a lab instead of through natural selection?

[Edit, Jan-15-2013:  I have since realized that Evolution is a lie, a false religion.  There is no credible evidence to support Evolution.  I looked and found none.  God has designed all the food that is good to eat.  God is perfect and already made the plants to be good.  Companies that genetically modify the plants for financial gain are going against God's design and are asking for trouble.  The love of money is the root of all evil... 1 Timothy 6:10 KJV]

These powerful corporations want to prevent you and me from saving our seeds and growing our own food. They use the government to enforce their patents and to prosecute farmers. There is so much written about this already on the web, so if you want to learn more, a simple search will tell you a lot.

3 or 4

An orange with PLU code 3107

An orange with PLU code 3107

If we buy 3 or 4, we are sure to wash the food thoroughly before cooking or eating.  The orange peel above could be saturated with poisons, so I would not use the peel in any recipe.

Mango grown conventionally.

Mango grown conventionally.

This mango's PLU code (4959) starts with a "4", meaning it is conventionally grown.

This mango's PLU code (4959) starts with a "4", meaning it is conventionally grown.

The mango above is not organic.  It is conventionally grown.  I don’t like that word choice because it sounds so… normal.  It is a sad state of our farming practices when it is “normal” to spray food intended for human consumption with poison.  No wonder people continue to get sicker.   If you see on the label a number beginning with a 3 or 4, that food could contain poisons like pesticides and herbicides and could have been grown with synthetic fertilizer from petroleum.  I would much prefer a mango that had a PLU code starting with a “9″, which is “fine”.

If an apple is conventionally grown and starts with a 3 or 4, I wash the apple, then peel the skin off and discard.  There are probably poisons sprayed on the skin and I do not feel right about feeding that to my family or myself.

9 Is Fine

9 is fine.  This is the good stuff.  It’s organic, not genetically modified and not coated with poison.  This is how food had been grown for thousands of years until the recent changes made by corporations, tainting our food supply with their poisons.

If an apple has the leading digit of “9″… it’s fine…it’s organic.  I read that apple skins are healthy, as long as they are organic without applied chemicals.  I eat the apple skins if the PLU code starts with “9″.  If the PLU code starts with a “3″ or “4″, I discard the apple peel.  If the PLU code starts with “8″, which I hate… well, then, that apple would never make it to my house as we wouldn’t buy it.

Conclusion

Know your PLU codes and live healthier and happier.

9 is fine!

Reference:  http://energyfanatics.com/2009/04/24/fruit-label-organic-genetically-engineered/

12 Responses to “Is That Food Organic? Labels Tell You: 3 4 8 9 ???”

  1. 1
    Tony:

    To whom it may concern,

    I’ve been reading about PLU codes and have done my own investigative work here
    locally at a couple of grocery stores. I have seen traditional PLU’s and organic PLU’s
    but nothing with an 8 followed by four digits indicating GMO. Where are the GMO’s, not
    that I’m in a hurry to cunsume any?

    Regards

    Tony

  2. 2
    Happy:

    Foods which have labels beginning with a 3 are genetically-modified, such as the papayas that are commonly sold across the USA.

  3. 3
    Earl:

    How do you know that 3 is genetically modified? Could you cite your source?

  4. 4
    Janelle:

    The numbers are part of an international PLU code. This doc I am linking is an actual source document for these numbers and their meaning. Look on page 7. http://www.plucodes.com/docs/Users_Guide_July_2012_FINAL.pdf

  5. 5
    Janelle:

    Here is another good source of info on this topic. http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2010/05/decode-your-produce-what-do-plu-codes-mean-when-to-buy-organic-fruits-and-vegetables.html

  6. 6
    Karen:

    Sorry, Janelle, I checked both documents you sited and there is no mention of a four digit code beginning with a 3 that is GMO. It does mention that spraying with pesticides is present. Back in the 1990’s when all this started, I use to see all the codes except for the 3 code. Since then, many sources of all types have declared the 3 code to point to heirloom produce. But, according to the docs you presented, they state that the 4 and 3 codes are both conventional. One, the 4, being North American, East; and 3 being North America. Since I’m just now starting to see a flow of the 3 code, I wonder if it is indeed a heirloom that has the potential of being sprayed, or the possibility of cross-contamination. Either way, the 9’s have it!

  7. 7
    DJ Heinze:

    Since sticker codes beginning with number 3 are always on the cheapest fruits, I avoid them.

  8. 8
    Kristin:

    I manage a produce department and i can assure that 3 does NOT mean genetically altered in any way. We dont carry any items with a plu that begins with an 8. But i do carry several items that begin with 3. Some of these include Honeycrisp Apples, Navel Oranges and Satsuma Tangerines. The 3 at the beginning, i believe, means that they are seasonal items. Meaning, they are not available year round or their country of origin may change as the seasons change.

  9. 9
    Andreja:

    My daughter is doing a science project on GMO papayas and this is what we found: we bought Chula Vista papaya starting with code 3. We then found out that the only variety Chula Vista grows is Tainung type. This is a hybrid type tolerance resistant to the PRSV ( papaya ring spot virus). She concluded that Tainung papayas must also contain Genetic modification since there are no naturally PRSV resistant papayas in this world.

  10. 10
    Andreja:

    http://file.cbd.int/database/attachment/?id=13062

  11. 11
    Jeanette:

    The code 3 statement was made by Happy…not by the writer of this article, Jannelle. Personally I would try to avoid code 3 also. I`m thinking that GMO`s don`t legally need to be labled in alot of countries so they would be hiding under the 3 code lable. I have no proof of this … just what I have read in the past.

  12. 12
    Jayme:

    Hey i have a major concern im four and a half months pregnant and try to avoid gmos at all costs. Well tonight my brother brought me tomatoes with a plu beginning with 3 on them and im concerned they are gmo. Ive been looking up on a bunch of websites an cant get a legit answer… please someone help.

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