Food Labeling – How to Identify Organic, Conventional, and Genetically Modified Produce

Healthy Shopping Tips

by Abra Pappa Comments1
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A simple insider tip for savvy healthy shoppers.

You know that pesky sticker that is attached to your fresh produce from the grocery store? On that sticker you will find the PLU code or Produce Look Up number, which is a standardized number for every grocery store in the United States. This number provides us with some pretty important information. Follow these tips to be in the know:

Look for the 9:

All codes that begin with the number 9 signify that they are organically produced. Organically produced food will have a 5-digit number beginning with a 9

Stay away from the 8:

Until we pass stricter (or any) food labeling laws one of the only ways to know if your food is of the GMO (Genetically Modified) variety is to look for a 4-digit PLU code that begins with an 8. However, because it is not required of  a food producer to label their goods GMO you may be hard pressed to find that 8.

Conventional Digits:

Fruits and vegetables that are conventionally grown (not organic) will have a 4-digit number beginning with either a 3 or 4


4011 – Conventionally grown bananas

94011 – Organically grown banana

84011 – Genetically Modified Banana

Pretty simple eh? Check those produce codes and look to purchase food that is GMO free and ideally (whenever possible) organic.

Abra Pappa
About Abra Pappa, Health and Wellness Expert

Abra is a wellness expert that has inspired thousands of people to reach their health and weight loss goals through whole, natural food and mindful lifestyle shifts. Her food philosophy is simple; keep it real, keep it simple, and it sure as heck better be delicious!

  • Sam

    I wish we have the same type of food labeling here in our country. We don’t have a way to tell if the foods that we buy in grocery stores are organic, conventional or GMO.