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Friday, January 4, 2013

Label and Twist Tie Code Deciphering

Every once in awhile something insignificant gets me to thinking about why, what or how.  This time it was the label on an apple.

I went searching to find out what the code on the label actually meant.  Here is what I found, according to Dr. Franklin Lipman.

"Although they seem like a nuisance, the stickers or labels attached to fruit and some vegetables have more of a function than helping scan the price at the checkout stand. The PLU code, or price lookup number printed on the sticker, also tells you how the fruit was grown. By reading the PLU code, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers, fungicides, or herbicides.

Here are the basics of what you should know:
If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides.
The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011
If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

Incidentally, the adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible."  

If you visit Dr. Lipman's site you will find that some of the commenters have more info and some not so wonderful thoughts about this coding.  Interesting.


While I was thinking about codes anyway, I decided to revisit the twist tie color codes on bread.  I can never remember them.  Here is the color code.

The most commonly-used code for 5-day a week delivery is is blue for Monday, green for Tuesday, red for Thursday, white for Friday, and yellow for Saturday.

When I gave this a little more thought it occurred to me that the store shelf-stockers should be the ones who are most aware of this code so that they can remove the old stuff.  We are stuck with what they have no matter when it was made.  I guess it is our choice not to buy the baked good if it is too old.


Then I came upon the decipher of the Target label. 

If the price ends in 8, it will be marked down again. If it ends in a 4, its the lowest it will be. Targets mark down schedule. - MONDAY: Kids Clothing, Stationery (office supplies, gift wrap), Electronics. TUESDAY: Womens Clothing and Domestics. WEDNESDAY: Mens Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty. THURSDAY: Lingerie, Shoes, Housewares. FRIDAY: cosmetics.


I hope that these bits of information help in your shopping selections.  I will probably have to print this out and carry it with me for reference since I cannot remember ....anything.

Today .... keep it simple and make it real.



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