What do the numbers on your produce really mean?

What do the labels on our produce mean?
What do the labels on our produce mean?

Have you ever stared at the sticker on your beautiful fuji apple and wondered what the numbers meant? Turns out, they really do matter! There are many different meanings depending on the first one of those numbers…

Any number that starts with a “9” means that piece of produce is an organic good. You may be wondering what exactly it means for something to be organic. Organic basically means that the soil that the product is grown in has been untouched by pesticides, chemically contaminated fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics. Organic food not only tastes  better, but it has been scientifically proven to have healthier benefits inside the body. To learn more about why organic is the way to go, click here. Remember, you actually are what you eat so fuel up on the good stuff! Here are a few of my favorites to always buy organic when possible:

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Bell Peppers

Anything starting with a “3” or “4” means that it is grown conventionally. Conventional farming is when chemicals and pesticides are used in different methods to allow for bigger, faster and longer lasting crops. If you are shopping on a budget, here are a few items that are okay to buy conventionally grown:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Cabbage

Finally, that dreaded number starting with an “8” means your food has been genetically engineered. This means that the food you are buying has been created by a person or machine in order to maximize productivity. Try to stay away from this produce at all costs.

Remember to support your local farmers by visiting farmers markets and local food stores, and you can also join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) exchange to ensure that you know where your food is coming from. It is one thing to buy organic items at the grocery store, but it’s another thing to get the opportunity to shake the hand of the farmer who just grew your dinner!

Knowledge is power, and now that you know what you are buying, you can feel comfortable and informed on your next grocery store stop. Eat, cook and be healthy, RAWkstars!

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Tera Geishauser

Tera Geishauser is a health & lifestyle coach, nutrition nut, traveler, thinker, learner and listener. With a "Change the World" type attitude, she is passionate about helping others learn that with simple changes come BIG results. She has studied over 100 dietary theories, everyday lifestyle management techniques and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Visit her website, terageishauser.com and join the movement to spread peas and love throughout the world!

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