Cracking the Code

Do you know what those numbered stickers on fresh fruit and vegetables mean?

Well according to the December issue of Publix Greenwise Market magazine; each sticker is labeled with a four- or five-digit code called a Price Look-Up number. These codes are used to speed up the scanning process for grocery store cashiers, but can also reveal to you how your produce was grown.

The 5-digit codes beginning with a 9: organic
The 5-digit codes beginning with an 8: genetically modified
The 4-digit codes beginning with a 3 or 4: conventionally grown

I will definitely be looking for the number 9’s as a first choice. I’ll also be doing some price comparison on my next shopping trip to see how the price differences match up. If the difference in price between the organic and the conventially grown produce is more than 20% I will probably get the conventionally grown pesticide saturated produce.