We all have noticed the sticker on fruits in the stores, but not many people know what meaning it holds. Fruits’ stickers or labels say lots more than just helping check the price at the register. It shows how the fruit was grown. By reading the sticker you will know if the food is organic, genetically modified or grown with chemical fertilizers. These codes were controlled by the IFPS (the International Federation for Produce Standards). What’s more, the use of these codes is optional, so not all stores have them. They were created to help the suppliers and retailers with sorting and pricing the products, not to provide information to buyers.
1. If the sticker has 4 digit code starting with 3 or 4, then you know the product probably includes artificial fertilizer. However, there is no need to worry because the levels of pesticide are low and not harmful. No matter where the fruit is grown and sold, it always has the same number. For example, the banana’s number is 4011 all around the world.
2. The product was cultivated in a traditional way, which means it is organic if the sticker has 5 digit code starting with number 9. Moreover, it has no fertilizers and pesticides.
3. If the product has a 5 digit code starting with the number 5, it is genetically modified.
In addition, one more thing you did not know is that the fruit stickers are not toxic and are edible! You can peel them off, but if you accidentally eat one, it is not a big deal.
Since the 2009, stores in the USA need to inform customers about the country of origin of the fruits. So, the fruit sticker includes the country of origin as well.
Keep this information in mind anytime you go to the store and choose fruit. And of course, make sure you buy the fruit whose sticker has 9 as its initial number.