Ever wonder about the numbers on those fruit and vegetable stickers? What do they mean? Is it just a code number assigned by the store?
Yes, the numbers are used by the grocery store for identifying each type of fruit and vegetable for checkout. However, there’s more meaning to the numbers. Here’s a decoder:
4 digits = the fruit or vegetable was raised conventionally. These 4-digit numbers usually start with a 4. Some are now starting with a 3. No special meaning other than more numbers were needed, so it was decided by the USDA to start them with a 3.
5 digits, starting with an 8 = the fruit or vegetable was produced with bioengineering (genetically modified)
5 digits, starting with a 9 = organically grown
An easy way to remember this is 4′s ok, but 9 is fine.