Have you ever wondered what all those different numbered labels on fruit really mean? Besides making it easy for the cashiers to ring you up, they do serve a more specific purpose?
Coding is applied to not only fruits, but vegetables, herbs, AND nuts. But only fruits get an actual label and that label tells the consumer HOW the fruit was grown.
LABELS ON FRUIT ARE DIVIDED INTO 3 DISTINCT CATEGORIES:
- Genetically modified and
A 4 digit code – means your fruit was conventionally raised. If you don’t see a label with 5 digits it is safe to assume your fruit has been grown with pesticides and chemicals in nutrient depleted soil.
A 5 digit code (starting with the number 8) – means your fruit has been genetically modified. It has been grown with pesticides already built in and has been modified.
A 5 digit code (starting with the number 9) – means your fruit is certified organic.
Buy your fruit locally if at all possible at your local farmers markets. If it is during off season, organic would be my next best choice. Remember, in order to be certified USDA Organic the farmer has to jump through hoops and go through years of testing the soil BEFORE he can grow anything on his land.
Your local farmer may choose not to certify himself organic due to cost reasons but still be an organic farmer according to the way he grows his fruits and veggies.
How do you know? Just ask him!
If you cannot buy locally, choose NUMBER 9 for Organic.
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