PLU Codes make produce shopping a whole lot easier
Whether you’re grocery shopping for your family’s dinner or for today’s dishes at your restaurant, home cook or revered chef, you know that selecting the best ingredients is key to a great meal. Mom may have taught us how to pick out vegetables by shape, size, smell and overall appearance but how would one know if the vegetables and fruit that we buy contain GMOs or if they’re organic?
PLU Codes, or Price-Look Up Codes, are found in many markets making produce shopping easy for consumers. How? Well, you may have noticed those little stickers on your bananas or tomatoes bearing the brand of the fruit but if you look closely, you’ll also see a four to five digit numeric code that’s designed to give you more insight on what you’re purchasing.
PLU Code Facts for codes beginning with the following numbers.
Source: PLU Code FAQ
PLU stickers with 4 digit codes that start with 3 or 4: Conventionally grown (e.g. 3010 for a conventionally grown cucumber)
PLU stickers with 5 digit code that starts with 9: Organically grown (e.g. 91350 for an organically grown tomato)
PLU stickers with 5 digit code that starts with an 8: Genetically engineered or modified (e.g. 86339 for a genetically engineered watermelon)
It is important to note that currently, the U.S. and Canada do not require the labeling of GMO foods.
More resources on how foods are grown
What does “organically grown” mean?
What does “conventionally grown” mean?
What are “GMOs” or “genetically engineered” foods?