Many people enjoy eating fruits and vegetables, especially during the summer due to their refreshing and delicious taste. However, what we don’t really pay attention to is their PLU stickers.

Most people think that they serve for scanning the code, but actually they tell a lot more about the fruit quality and have a specific purpose.

PLU stickers contain codes that reveal details about the way the fruit was produced. There are three categories of these labels which determine whether the product was genetically modified, conventional or organic.

You need to learn how to read these labels in order to avoid the GMO fruits.

If you see a 4 or 3-digit code it means that the product was cultivated conventionally. In other words, it was grown on a factory farm where it was sprayed with synthetic pesticides. The last four numbers of the code identify the type of fruit or vegetable you are buying.

A 5-digit code that starts with number 8 means that the fruit is genetically modified, while if it starts with number 9 implies that the fruit is organic.

The Environment Working Group has proven that pesticides can induce severe health issues, such as birth defects, nerve damage and cancer.

They have also shown that 98% of peaches, 97% of nectarines and 99% of apples contain at least 1 pesticide, while the white potato contains five times the pesticide mass of the above mentioned fruits.

It was also found out that the fruits and vegetables more likely to be pesticide-sprayed are spinach, peaches, raspberries, nectarines, cherries, oranges, tomatoes and cucumbers.

On the other hand, the types of fruits safer for consumption and less likely to contain pesticides or other chemicals are: onion, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, kiwi, papaya, mango, grapefruit, broccoli and honey-melon.

However, note that these codes aren’t 100% transparent, since they represent a voluntary system that tells the cashiers what they should charge, depending on whether the product is organic or genetically modified.

Therefore, in order to buy organic foods make sure you purchase products that are specifically labeled as non-GMO.

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