produce labels

It should be no surprise to anyone that the US Government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans place emphasis on eating more fruits and veggies. As a nation, we simply do not eat enough of them, and as a result we continue to get larger.

As frequent shoppers of the produce section of the store, we have often wondered if there was anything meaningful in the numbered stickers that are stuck to every piece of produce in the market. A little research at the Produce Marketing Association web site, revealed some interesting information that we thought we would share with you.

The 4 or 5 digit number is called a PLU and is a standard through out the World used to identify different types of the produce. A PLU reveals improtant information regarding “how” the produce was grown.

  • Conventionally Grown produce PLUs are 4 digits long and begins with a 3 or 4.
  • Organically Grown produce PLUs are 5 digits long and begins with a 9.
  • Genetically-Modified (GMO) produce PLUs are 5 digits long and begins with an 8.