Many people aren’t even aware that the stickers we can see on the vegetables as well as fruits aren’t only for scanning of the price.
This so-called PLU code or otherwise known as the price lookup number on the sticker will tell you if the product you’re holding is organic, genetically modified or produced with the help of herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers.
1. A code made of 4 digits that contains a 3 or a 4 will signify that your product is grown conventionally. The last 4 letters are actually about the kind of the vegetable or fruit you are buying. For instance, bananas always contain the code of 4011.
2. In case you can see 5 numbers where the first one is “8”, they are genetically modified products. A banana which is modified genetically will have the number 84011.
3. A number with 5 digits and the first one is “9” will mean that your product is organic. For example, an organic banana will be labeled as 94011.
The Environmental Working Group or EWG tested some of the most popular products and came up with a complete list.
According to them, if we consume too much pesticides, they can cause various health problems like birth defects, cancer, nerve damage, etc. The ones at a particular risk are children.
These are the fruits and vegetables that you should always make sure to buy organic:
The Dirty Dozen Plus
These products were discovered to have the greatest levels of pesticide:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Hot Peppers
- Summer Squash
- Nectarines (imported)
- Collard Greens / Kale
- Sweet Bell Peppers
The following foods were safe and you shouldn’t buy them organic:
- Sweet Corn (not the potentially GMO canned corn)
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
Almost 97% of all of the tested nectarines, 98% of peaches and 99% of apples had at least 1 of the dangerous pesticide residue. The potato we consume almost every day e.g. the white potato contained the most pesticides!