How to read a produce sticker - KMSP-TV

How to read a produce sticker

Posted: Updated:

Produce stickers and labels hold a lot more information than simply the cute name or slogan of a fruit or vegetable. Many people believe it's only purpose is to help check out at the grocery store. However, there is more information behind those codes.

FOX 9 Fitness Expert Ali Holman from shows us that by reading the sticker number, you can actually confirm if the piece of produce you hold in your hand is organic, not organic and/or genetically modified.

Ali points out that labels on fruits and vegetables will have a 4 or 5 digit codes. (Bar code is used for pricing, but we are looking at the actual numbers).

If your produce has 4 digits, it means that it was "conventionally grown, but not organic". This means that most likely pesticides were used.

FYI: Almost all produce, even conventional, already contains less pesticide residue than the maximum allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

If produce has 5 digits, and begins with a 9, it means that the produce was organically grown. Ali recommends going Organic with the "Dirty Dozen" - peaches, strawberries, nectarines, apples, spinach, celery, pears, sweet bell peppers, cherries, potatoes, lettuce, and imported grapes. These fragile fruits and vegetables often require more pesticides to fight off bugs compared to heartier produce.

A 5 digit code that begins with an 8 indicates that the produce was genetically modified. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds.

GM foods are pest resistant, have cold and disease tolerance, and help produce fruit in large mass quantities. Genetically Modified foods are modified in the laboratory to enhance desired traits, such as resistance to herbicides or improved nutritional content.

To find out more about Ali's Online Workouts and Meal Plans, visit

Powered by WorldNow

11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices