Food labels: how to read the codes on fruit and vegetables

Who I am
Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia

You know those stickers that we find on the fruit and vegetables we buy every day at the supermarket? How many of you have ever paused to understand what lies behind the bar code and numbers?

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

You know those adhesives that we find on the fruit and vegetables we buy every day at the supermarket? How many of you have ever stopped to understand what lies behind the bar code and the numbers?





Probably few or very few because perhaps we never realized that that label contains a series of information about the product we are going to consume.

Usually printed we find the barcode and a code that is called PLU which is nothing more than the acronym of Price Look Up and tells us how the fruit or vegetable we bought has grown.

So from the PLU code we can know if it is a GM product, organically grown or fertilized with chemical fertilizers. All that remains is to understand how to read this code.

READ also: HOW TO READ THE LABELS: A CONSUMER'S GUIDE

How to read the PLU code

1) If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the product has been grown conventionally or traditionally with the use of pesticides. In this case, therefore, the 4 letters will simply indicate what type of product we are buying, for example bananas are 4011.

2) If there are five numbers in the PLU code and the number starts with "8", then the product is a GMO. For example, a genetically modified banana will have this number: 84011

3) If there are five numbers in the PLU code and the number starts with “9”, this indicates that the product has been organically grown. For example, an organic banana will have this number: 94011



In short, easier than you might think, sometimes you just need to know the right number to make a more informed shopping!

Dominella Trunfio

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