Wine Dine and Play: Codes On Fruit

Codes On Fruit


Picture courtesy of Healthy and Natural World















Remember “9” is good
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:



Going to the grocery store to buy some fruit and vegetables is my favorite part of food shopping. I try to stay to the outside area of the store and avoid the isles unless its beer or wine of course. Everything in the isles is prepackaged, and most of the time all GMO. When you're in the FFV section (Fresh Fruits and Vegetables), have you ever noticed the little stickers on the foods? They are called PLU codes (price lookup), and really I thought it was an internal grocery code on how to charge certain items only, but it is a lot more. Examples of this include apples, they look alike, but prices vary among varieties. Since a cashier can’t necessarily tell the difference between a Fiji and a Honey-crisp apple unless they are a fruit expert, then the PLU codes come in handy.


These codes have been in use by grocery stores since the early 1990s and are administered by the International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS), who maintains a list of five-digit codes (which are sometimes four digits, because zeroes are not displayed), that identify qualities associated with a particular produce item, such as its type, size, where it was grown, and how it was grown.



3, 4, 8, 9 - Here are the basics of what you should know:

1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011.

2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8,” then this tells you that the item is a genetically modified (GMO) fruit or vegetable. 
3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9”, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011

The adhesive used to attach the stickers is considered food-grade, but the stickers themselves aren’t edible, so tell your kids. Also, remember that genetically modified fruits and vegetables outnumber the organic by 10-1. Also, it is impossible to eat organic produce that is grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana, for example, would be: 84011


The author of elingreso.com came up with a simple rhyme to remember the codes when you go to the grocery store to buy your product:

8, I hate. It’s GMO! 
9 is fine.  It's Organic. 


Most grocery stores have a labeled section for organic or “green” so you may think what is the point in remembering these codes. Well, what is to stop a person from picking up a GMO fruit and putting it in the organic section or vice-versa?

To make it even more confusing for you, some foods which have labels beginning with a 3 are sometimes genetically-modified, such as the papayas that are commonly sold across the USA. Or, they are defiantly sprayed with a pesticide.  Chula Vista papaya grows is a hybrid type with a tolerance and resistants to the PRSV (papaya ringspot virus). It is concluded in a study that Tainung papayas contain some genetic modification since there are no naturally PRSV resistant papayas in this world.

#0 applies to all non-qualified produce (and is generally presented without the leading “zero” digit).
#3 is also one of the cheapest to buy
#5 according to the Non-GMO project this is GMO as well
#6 preceding the 9 is an organic label. The 6 denotes that the farmers are paid under the fair trade agreement so they are safe. 
#7 is transitional…meaning the grower used pesticides in the past and is slowly moving to organic.




Other Noteworthy “Style food” Articles and Restaurants:
The Complete A to Z Food and Beverage Grand Dictionary If you're looking for it, then you found it
A Taste of McMurdo - 8 Months on the Ice Ross Island, Antarctica 
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See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary



****
The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.


A few to tease you with…
High Rise Fine Global Dining, Highest Restaurant In The World
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Elegant Modern Australian with Molecular Gastronomic dining 
Melbourne, Australia
Haute French Restaurant
Paris, France

Impeccably prepared French fine dining 
Dublin, Ireland
Contemporary, African-French Tasting Journey
Franschhoek, South Africa
Highly creative new American molecular gastronomy tasting menus
Chicago, Illinois, USA






“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)




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TTFN


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