Supermarket Shopping for Non-GMO Foods? Here’s How to Decipher those Annoying Stickers on Fruits and Vegetables…

First off, here is a simple definition of GMO, also known as genetically modified organism: An organism whose genetic material has been altered in the laboratory when a gene from one species is transferred to another species. These species include micro-organisms like bacteria or yeast, or larger organisms like fruits, vegetables, fish and animals. Health consequences, environmental impacts and other safety concerns are largely debated. Here are a two ways to avoid buying GMO foods…

Have you noticed the annoying stickers that seem to be on every piece of produce you buy in the supermarket? It is called a PLU sticker and stands for Price Look-Up.  The bar code on the sticker is used at the check out counter to scan the item for a price check. The sticker also has a 4 or 5-digit code that proves useful for the consumer. It tells us if the item is genetically modified. Read it before you eat it. Here is how to fully decipher the code:

  • Conventionally grown, non-GMO produce, has a 4-digit code.
  • Organically grown produce has a 5-digit code, beginning with the number 9.  The good news is that if it is organically grown, it’s automatically non-GMO.
  • Genetically modified, conventional produce has a 5-digit code, beginning with the number 8.

For packaged goods, look for the 3d party certification label, verifying that the product is indeed non-GMO.

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