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How to quickly identify organic, commercially grown and GE produce at the grocery store.

Since many of us are personal farmers and not always able to grow everything ourselves; some due to space constraints. I thought I'd share one quick way to spot organic produce in the store. Check out the price look-up number (PLU) that is on a sticker of each piece of produce. The International Federation for produce coding standardizes PLU codes for every grocery store in the country. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have a 4 digit code number beginning with a 3 or 4. Organically grown fruits and vegetables have a 5 digit code that begins with a 9 and genetically modified or engineered produce also have a 5 digit code that begins with an 8.  Here's to healthy eating everyone.

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Comment by Chris on March 27, 2013 at 2:56am

Karin,

Where did you discover this golden nugget of information?  I definitely need to check into this! :D  

By the way, an additional way to confirm that a packaged food item does not contain GMO's  is if the front bears:

1. The "USDA Organic" certification seal, AND

2. The "Non-GMO Project" certification seal.

The latter is the most important.  The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices. If you go to their website, you can see which packaged foods are certified non-GMO.

In light of the recent monumental failure for Proposition-37 to pass in California (which would've required food companies to just label their products if they contained GMOs) and thanks to the traitorous actions of "natural" brands which spent millions to dupe Californians into voting against the legislation... the Non-GMO Project is really the next best thing.  Hopefully this year other states will fight back against evil Monsanto and actually pas....  Until then, if companies really want to prove their products are truly as "organic" as they say they are...then they will go through the certification process and agree to have their facilities/ingredients checked often to ensure they've earned the right to use the "Non-GMO Project" seal.

Comment by Karin Bosela on March 27, 2013 at 4:52am

It is listed on this web site for the international federation of PLU codes - third paragraph down on the right hand side under PLU codes - In addition, it is also contained in a book from a course I am taking from integrative nutrition.  http://www.ifpsglobal.com/

Comment by Jennifer on March 27, 2013 at 9:40am

Hey, guys. Karin, thanks for sharing this. Jannine wrote about this trick a while back, and I got so excited, I looked into it a bit further. Here's what I found out: "The 8 is a great way to identify GMO foods, but, according to Food Renegade and the Huffington Post, it's an optional system, which means not all grocers choose to use it. Still very useful when it does show up, though!" For more on labels, check out this handy Food Labeling 101.

Comment by Karin Bosela on March 27, 2013 at 11:51am

Jennifer - 

Thanks for sharing Jannine's post with me.  You are correct in stating that this is strictly voluntary however, if we stop and think about the possibilities of this system which is already in place ... the "Just Label It" advocates should focus on making it mandatory. This could be a breakthrough since they wouldn't be reinventing the wheel by asking producers or growers to add labeling. They couldn't use the excuse that it would cost too much to label since most grocery stores produce already have the stickers anyway.

Comment by Chris on March 27, 2013 at 1:05pm

Karin, you're awesome.  Last night I even found articles on NaturalNews.com written in the last four years regarding these PLU codes and can't believe I'm just now finding out about this.

Even though the "Just Label It" movement is aimed at labeling all types of supermarket foods containing GMOs, your right about PLU stickers for produce being a much easier battle to win since it's already being done. You totally should submit that idea! :)

Comment by Chris on March 28, 2013 at 12:23am

Here are two iPhone apps that are sure to help when shopping at the supermarket:

Farmanac (farmanac.com) - A detailed produce guide that allows you to quickly make the best purchasing decisions while shopping at your local market. You can search by name or PLU code, get detailed information on thousands of fruits and vegetables, know what produce is in season, which ones rank highest in pesticides or are genetically-modified, and more. [only $1.99 on iTunes]

Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide (NonGMOProject.com) - Designed to help consumers avoid GMOs, this app features a list of the brands and products that are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program. The list of products is searchable by product type, brand name, product name, and key word. It addition, you can use it to find Supporting Retailers in your area who can help you with your non-GMO shopping. The guide also has tips for avoiding GMOs, including a list of GMO crops and common ingredients at risk for GMO contamination. Use this guide any time you shop — you’ll find it to be the ultimate resource for helping you avoid GMOs!  [free on iTunes]

Comment by Karin Bosela on March 28, 2013 at 2:05pm

Thanks Chris -

I was aware of the non GMO project in fact that was the web address I recommended when I became a member of Homegrown.  The Farmanac app is new to me and I'm excited to check it out.  All of these things are great to assist people in making the right choices.  Believe it or not the saying that you are what you eat is exactly spot on.  You can heal your body and live a happy life if you make the right choices.  I know from personal experience ...  diagnosed with MS 2 years ago and have not taken any medication for it.  I managed to heal all the plaque on my brain and amazed my neurologist in just 2 years with nothing but nutrition.

Comment by Chris on March 28, 2013 at 6:56pm

You're definitely my kind of people, Karin!  I'd be interested in learning offline what protocol you followed as I have an interest in naturopathy, homeopathy, and herbal medicines.

Comment by Chris on April 22, 2013 at 4:55pm

For those interested, I was recently informed about a third iPhone app that can help GMO-containing foods at the supermarket:

Fooducate (fooducate.com) - Healthify your supermarket choices.  Scan a food item's UPC code and fooducate gives you simple, concise explanations of each product using a grading system developed by dietitians, scientists, and concerned parents. Get independent, objective food recommendations. Turn on the "Warn Me About GMOs" in the profile, and Fooducate will tell you if the item you scanned has a high probability of containing GMOs.  [free in the iTunes store]

Contrary to the old saying, what you don't know CAN hurt you.  Watch the documentary "The Future of Food" and find out what's really going on.  And if any of this information has been a valuable resource for you in helping to avoid dangerous GMO's at the supermarket, don't just keep it to yourself...tell others it so they too can make healthy, informed choices.

Comment by Karin Bosela on April 23, 2013 at 4:07am

Hey Chris!

Thanks for the information about the latest app you found.  You're terrific at finding these things and generous in sharing the wealth of information. This one more step in stopping GMO's ... If we don't buy them maybe they'll get the message and hurt in the wallet to boot.

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