Friday, May 9, 2008

Want to Know How Green Your Produce Is? Look at the Sticker.

You learn something new every day right? I've only been awake 20 minutes today, and I've already done my learning. Over at Tomato Casual (a blog I recently learned of that I'm loving because of the garden I'm growing has three different types of tomatoes, and let's face it, I'm clueless about what I'm doing), I found a post about the stickers on supermarket produce.

The numbers on the stickers actually indicate how the food was grown. I always assumed they were a pricing code. But not so. Here's the lowdown.

A sticker that has four digits on it means that the food was grown conventionally. That means that it was most likely grown on a huge farm, and the likely hood that chemicals were used is pretty good.

A sticker that has five digits and begins with the number 8 means that the produce has been genetically modified. It may have still been grown using chemicals, and the process is still relatively new. Not all of the effects (helpful and harmful) of genetically modified produce are understood yet.

A sticker that has five digits and begins with the number 9 means that the produce is organic.

The US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France and  all countries exporting to them are supposed to use this coding system.

This is really useful information. I can't believe I haven't stumbled up it until now, but thanks Tomato Casual for educating me.
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Janine said...

How's your garden coming along? I had to replant some seeds yesterday because I started some inside and transplanted them that were supposed to be started outside (like beans and squash)but the rest is slowly coming along. This is a learning experience. I figure I can always go to the local garden center and buy a plant if mine don't work:)

Robin Shreeves said...

I'm right with you - I'm learning. I have the same idea. If what I start from seeds don't make it, I'll buy healthy plants at the farmer's market.

But so far, so good. They are going in the ground this weekend. I've been hardening them off all week so they'll be better suited to being planted outdoors.

I know it's going to be quite a while, but when I get my first edible vegetable, I will definitely post about it.

Allison said...

I am so glad you posted this info. I actually got up to check my produce to find most had none! I bought them at the farmer's market. I did of course check my bananas, they had 4 digits. But I knew they came from the huge Chiquita corporation grown somewhere hot south of us, like Costa Rica or something. I do try to buy them organic but I still feel like that is in vain because, really, do farmers in South America really follow the rules of organic farming? The only time I trust it saying organic is when grown in the US or Canada. And even then I question the validity because of the size of the corporation. (Thanks to Animal, Vegie, Miracle I am a little more aware of my choices.)

Robin Shreeves said...

Allison - I thought this information was really helpful, too.

I found Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to be a lifestyle altering book, and I'm glad that you choose to read it, too.

I'm still getting through my challenge book of Affluenza, and I'm finding it just as influential.