How to know if a vegetable is really organic

How to know if a vegetable is really organic

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If you are not sure about the nature of the supermarket products, here is the free gift.

Some people have strict guidelines about eating organic fruits and vegetables. Some grocery store produce sections are mislabeled or disorganized enough to tell what was grown, which can be challenging. If any of these things have ever happened to you, a solution, if used in your country, would be to look at the PLU sticker.

PLU (or Price Look Up) codes are the 4 or 5 digit numbers of adhesive labels that have been used in supermarkets since 1990. They represent a worldwide standardized system implemented by the International Federation of Production Standards (IFPS), a group of National Product Associations around the world. While the organization's long-term goal is to improve the efficiency of the fresh produce industry supply chain, consumers can also obtain information from codes.

The PLU number indicates that items are produced based on a number of factors, such as product, variety, growing methodology (eg organic), and size. The numbers are assigned by the IFPS after rigorous review at the national and international level.

The system is based on 4-digit codes that are within the 3000 and 4000 series. The numbers are assigned randomly, that is, each digit does not imply anything specifically, just a general identification number. As an example, a small Fuji apple has the code 4129, a large Fuji apple has the code 4132.

At the grocery store, it might not be that useful on its own, until you know this: If the 4-digit number is preceded by a 9, it indicates that it was grown organically.

An organic large Anjou pear; a large, conventionally grown Anjou pear would be 4416. Therefore, any 5-digit number beginning with a 9 identifies the product as organic.

At one point, the 4-digit number preceded by an 8 indicated a GMO product, but that system is being discontinued because, according to the IFPS, those PLU codes never made it to the retail level and the organization needs more digits to assign . incoming code requests. (I guess I'm not the only one here who would love such an easy way to identify the GMO product, sadly.)

Basically, PLU codes can be useful to consumers in a number of ways. Mainly, as an easy way to identify conventional versus organic products on the market. (Although the encoding is not regulated by a government agency, IFPS has a lengthy review process and accuracy is important to the retail industry.) But they can also come in handy when you get home and are unsure of the variety of something you may have bought. Just write the tag code to the IFPS database and you're done.

All that said, if you buy from a farmers market, the product will not carry a sticker. But you can also find out in two seconds whether the item is organic or not. Ask the farmer, they will tell you much more than a sticker. They will be eager to explain the process they use and may even invite you to their farm to show you their production process.

In many countries organic producers are organized into one or more associations, movements, collectives, search the internet for those of your country and you will surely find a list of their associated producers and even approved products.

Video: The Terrifying Truth About Bananas (June 2022).


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