Shopping for organic produce? – look for # 9 and avoid # 8 at all cost!

PLU codes that supermarket uses to scan the produce we buy can be a lot more useful for us as consumers.


I saw this great graphic going around on Facebook and while I thought it was cool, and useful, I figured I would just remember the numbers. Well, few days ago I was at the supermarket and confused with the signs on apples, they seemed to be all mixed up and I wanted to be sure to buy organic. Naturally I could not remember which number represents organic 😦

As soon as I got home I tried to find the graphic and looked all over Facebook, but it was buried under hundreds of other posts. I was very disappointed to say the list for not sharing it here on my blog, as this makes for an easy reference when needed. So here it is, I am posting it and now can look it up and share whenever needed, as simply knowing what “3”, “4”, “8” or “9” represent can help you navigate your local produce aisles:

  • A four-digit code beginning with a “3” or a “4” indicate that the produce is “conventionally grown”. This could indicate the use of, or presence of agricultural fertilizers, industrial chemicals and/or pesticides used in the production of the produce.
  • A five-digit code beginning with a “9” means the product was grown organically. To be certified as an organic produce, the product must comply with specific standards such as the absence of synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
  • A five-digit code starting with the number “8” means that the produce is “genetically modified” — also known as “GM Foods”  – the “frankenfoods”.

Happy shopping!

To your health,



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