WHAT DO PRODUCE CODES AND FOOD LABELS MEAN?

by | The Lills, The Lills Food

We visited a grocery store recently who had one organic produce stand, surrounded by conventionally grown and GMO fruits and veggies. If more people went to the organic stand and the demand grew, so would the supply. Maybe GMO and Conventional Farming would disappear from the shelves and be history.

In order to create this kind of change, we have to educate ourselves and start choosing what is better for the Earth and each other. Any time we shop from grocery stores, we are sure to check the labels and PLU number codes on the fruits and veggies. See the codes below:

PLU Codes | Produce Labeling | Grocery Stores | The Lills Food

#4xxx – Conventionally Grown (Sprayed with pesticides)
#8xxxxx – GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)
#9xxxxx – Organic (Limits use of synthetic materials during production)

When produce is labeled organic, it means at least 95% of it is organically produced. The remaining 5% is supposedly approved by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). Organic, thank goodness, is more regulated than conventional or GMO.

Food labeled “100% Organic” consists only of organic ingredients.
Food labeled “Made with Organic Ingredients” consists of at least 70% organic ingredients.
“Natural Flavors” in an ingredient list includes any substance that derives from a plant or animal. It covers up the fact that there are bugs in your coffee, cupcakes, medicine and more. It covers up MSG, also known as “autolyzed yeast extract”. The list goes on.

Look out for food advertised and labeled as “natural” or “all-natural”. These terms are vague, tricky and misleading. For instance, the USDA doesn’t define a difference between “natural” or “all-natural” and foods labeled “natural” can contain growth hormones, antibiotics and more. Neither the FDA nor the USDA regulates food labeled “natural”, so it’s no wonder why so many unhealthy food products use it. It is easily misinterpreted and the consumer doesn’t usually know any better.

Want to go a step further? Check out our Live Food vs Dead Food post!