You know those pesky little stickers that somehow always manage to turn up in salads, guacamole, and the occasional nacho plate. Yes, I'm talking about produce stickers; the stickers that you always have to remember to peel off before you bite into an apple. Produce stickers serve a purpose beyond annoyance, and price scans. The 5 digit number on the produce sticker is the fruit and vegetable equivalent of a zip code. The number identifies where and how the produce was grown. Getting to know the digits of your fruits and veggies can help you snob out genetically modified, and from far-a-way produce; in favor of locally grown and organic fruits and vegetable.
For customs purposes the sticker will always identify the country in which the produce was grown. The country name will be spelt out.
Genetically modified produce can be identified by a five number product code starting with an 8.
Conventionally farmed produce can be identified by a four digit produce code.
Organic fruits and vegetables have a five digit produce code that starts with a 9.
I personally think organic fruits and veggies taste better, they have more depth in their flavor. Eating organic can be pricey, and options may at times be limited. To save money on produce aim to buy organic fruits and veggies that are on the "dirty dozen."
The 12 dirtiest fruits and vegetable for 2012 are: Apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce, and kale.