What’s The Deal with the Tags on Fruits and Vegetables?

Food The List
By: Jimmy Rhoades Posted: 7:09 PM, Dec 13, 2016

We’re about to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the produce isle…Those tiny tags! Jimmy Rhoades and Chair of the International Federation of Produce Standards Ed Treacy are decoding the stickers on fruits and vegetables.

1.  Conventional Produce

The range of PLUs assigned to the fresh produce industry is 3,000 through 4,999. The three-thousands and four-thousands were the original range the industry had to work with. So those numbers went to the first products they had. They identify conventionally-grown product.

2.  Organic Produce

Organically-grown products are assigned in the ranges of 93,000 to 94,999. The similarity to the conventional range is no coincidence. A conventional item like a banana — 4011 — the organic equivalent is 94011. So in order to get an organic, you just simply put a nine in front of the four-digit PLU code.

3.  GMO Produce

You'll see some online sources saying that anything starting with a 8 is a genetically modified. That's theoretically true — the range from 83,000 to 8-4-9-9-9 was set aside for GMOs, but no one has ever applied for a number for a GMO product.

4.  Colors

This is an easy one. The colors on the tags have no significant meaning.

Did you ever stop to wonder what those stickers mean? Let us know on our Facebook page, @TheListShowTV.