People are looking for healthier ways to eat, but unfortunately the good stuff isn’t always easy to spot. Not all produce is grown the way you wish it was, and once you’ve hit the grocery store, you might not know exactly how to easily determine what was grown safely and what was grown in less than desirable conditions, but we can help with that.
There is a little trick that most people don’t know about which will help you figure out which items to grab in the produce section at your local supermarket and which ones to avoid. And, of course, when all else fails, you know you can get the good stuff at a farmer’s market.
What To Look For
Organic products are easy to find. There is always a section with a sign that screams organic at every passerby. But what about those of us who prefer non-GMO options? Currently there are no laws in place mandating that GMO products be labeled. (Which is one reason why the Non-GMO Project is so essential when it comes to informing the public about GMOs in the food they eat.) However, just because the labels laws aren’t in place to help us identify GMO and organic products doesn’t mean we can’t spot them if we know what to look for.
When you head over to the apple bin and start scanning the items while you decide which one to put in the cart, you’ll notice a little tag on each piece. It has the name of the product, a barcode to scan and product look-up code or PLU. Those numbers on the little sticker are key.
Standard codes are four digits long, but the first number in a five digit code has much to tell you. For organic produce, the first number in the five digit code will be a 9. For genetically modified produce, the first number of the five digit code will be an 8.
Again, because GMO products are not required to be labeled as such, it’s important to recognize that just because a PLU does not include an 8, that doesn’t not mean it is necessarily GMO-free.
When In Doubt, Head To The Farmer’s Market
There are far too many benefits of the farmer’s market to count, but let’s talk about the most obvious one: you know where your food is coming from. That’s simply not something that you can get from the produce at the grocery store. People who are concerned with what they put into their bodies and the bodies of the people they care for find it challenging to feel safe with the food at the local supermarket. At the farmer’s market, this isn’t an issue.
Here you can shop around, talk to the farmers, discuss their farming practices, and really get a feel for what it takes to grow healthy food. Buying local helps to boost the local economy and supports those who are working hard to keep you healthy, so find your local farmer’s market today.