Fruits and Veggies – Stickers Revealed!

By Wayne Gendel

The little stickers on single fruits and vegetables have very useful information on them!


The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a trade group for the produce industry. Besides providing a store’s cash registers and computers with product identification and price information, these stickers universally identify produce type and variety.

A label with 4 digits indicates conventionally grown food. Labels with 4 digits starting with an 8 indicate that the food is genetically modified. Labels with 5 digits starting with a 9 indicate that the food is organically grown.

Well as soon as I read this I looked at all my little stickers and it’s true! All my organic food had stickers with 5 digits beginning with 9 and all the conventional food had stickers with four digits. Produce labels range from 2-color, just-the-facts, produce-code-only, to tiny billboards of advertising with multi-colors, company web sites, variety names, and snappy slogans. I like to remember it this way:

8’s we hate!
4’s are regular
9’s are divine!

So using this numbering system, a conventionally grown banana would be 4011, an organic banana would be 94011 and a genetically engineered banana would be 84011.

Please Live Forever Healthy!