Today’s post relates to a serious subject: the level of pesticides present in the food we eat.  I was shocked to learn what the numbers on the stick-on labels of fresh fruit and vegetables actually mean.  I thought they were for scanning the price of the items, but that is only one purpose of the PLU, or price lookup number.  Here’s what else it means:

-If there are four numbers in the PLU, the produce was grown with the use of pesticides.
-The last four letters of the PLU code indicate what kind of vegetable or fruit it is.
-If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable.
-Organic produce cannot be grown from genetically modified seeds.
-If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with
-“9,” the produce was grown organically and has not been genetically modified.


Organic fruits and vegetables are often more expensive than other kinds of produce, and may not always be possible to find.  However, the sooner we start paying attention to the chemicals being put into our food system, the sooner food growers and manufacturers will stop using them.  I can’t think of a more fundamental liberty than the right to a safe food and water supply.  Each of us has the freedom to choose safer foods, as we can afford them.  And as more of us exercise the right to a safe food supply, our demand will force the cost of organic foods down so that more of us have access to them.  Food safety standards in Europe are much higher than they are here in America, and we need to catch up, for the health of us all.  So start reading your fruits and veggies!

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