“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, February 05, 2010

Give Me A 4, Give me A 9, Don't Give Me An 8

Bulk items, when purchased from the market, have PLU numbers assigned to them.  You know those tiny little stickers attached to most pieces of fruit.  Or the item numbers displayed when purchasing bulk whole foods in bins such as flour, grain, herbs, etc.  What is a PLU? .. Simply put: Price Look Up code.  You can tell many things from these seemingly random numbers.  Items beginning with a 9 are organically produced.  A 4 is conventionally produced, and if you can find a sticker with an 8 ... leave it at the gate.  These have been genetically modified (Frankenstein Laboratory Foods:( which I'll discuss soon.  Genetically modified (GM or GMO) foods have been a hot topic since they were introduced in the '90's.  I, for one, have great concern and have been one by one trying to eliminate them from my food chain due to adult onset food allergies. For more reading, here is one of many websites that offers a more detailed explanation

Yesterday, I mentioned posting a list of produce items that may contain higher pesticide residues.  This is what is known as the 'dirty dozen' ... and a few links so you can see the top offenders such as: 

  1. peaches
  2. apple
  3. sweet bell pepper
For links revealing the dirty dozen ... and more, check here, or here.

The best bet is to grow your own produce, buy from small local farms that don't spray their crops with pesticides and practice good crop rotation, shop at your local farmers markets (always inquire what practices farmers use with their crops), or supermarket organic.  This is a numbers game with big agriculture ... if they see a trend with more people wanting and buying organic, then farming practices will change.  Organic does cost more ... but making good choices in the supermarket (eliminating junk food) will free up some of your spending power.   Tomorrow I'll look into what the label 'organic food' really reveals.  Do you grow or buy organic produce?


Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

Does it help to peel the apples before eating them? I'm also concerned about the types of foods you mentioned but most times I'm stuck with what the grocery store offers.

Kathryn said...

I've been hearing for quite a while now that apples are the #1 bad for non-organic. Evidently they spray them something fierce. I try to do mostly organic, & we probably buy 80% organic or from local farmers who tell us they grow organically.

I've heard about the 4 digit, & 5 digit. I've seen plenty of 9s, but have yet to see an 8.

Mrs. Mac said...

Yes, Cindy ... washing & peeling apples will help reduce exposure to pesticides in fruit such as apples.

Kathryn ... 8's are pretty much non existent anymore because 'Frankenfood makers' don't want to disclose their product as being GM.