Monday, January 4, 2010

Did You Know?

Did you know that those little produce brand stickers are used for more than just the clerks at the checkouts to know what type of produce you purchased?
I discovered a few years ago that they actually have another use that we as consumers can benefit from!
Those numbers actually tell the consumer how the produce was grown. And it's a pretty easy system to remember for people like me who have no memory.

If you see a 4 digit number the produce was conventionally grown. This means it was grown using fertilisers and pesticides to allow for higher yield specifically when out of season, greater longevity and larger size. This would be your most common produce brand stickers at most stores.

If you see a 5 digit number starting with a 9, it was organically grown. Organic produce is becoming higher in demand with 0.8% of farmland worldwide now being farmed as organic.
"Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.."
—International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
I myself buy some organic but I'm still on the fence about it and think you should try to buy local and get to know your farmers and see how truly organic the produce is. For example, they may say they are organic, but the field beside them could be using pesticides and who controls where those fly on the wind or in the soil and water system? Just some food for thought.

And lastly if you see a 5 digit number starting with an 8 this produce has been genetically modified (GMO - genetically modified organism). There is so much information regarding the GMO's that I'm sure you would leave this post after the first few sentences. Let's just say that it's exactly as it states. It's been modified from it's original state for various reasons depending on the product.
So now hopefully you feel more educated the next time you head to the produce section of your local store!

Here is my little man helping me make pizza tonight....and mmmm, it smells good! Keep a look out and I might give you a peek of the yummyness (that's my new made up word)


  1. Hmmm....that's really interesting and helpful! Thanks!

  2. Definitely more educated...I even went to get my apples to look at the number they had on them. I had no idea. Thanks Tara!!

  3. What if it's a 5 digit # starting with a 4?!