What the Numbers on Produce Stickers Really Mean


With all the astounding vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables, it is a fact known to many that eating these as much as possible will make you the healthiest version of yourself.

But if you take a closer look on all these foods that you are adding to your grocery cart, little stickers are on each produce that you think does not provide any valuable information and are just a bunch of random numbers, well that, is where you are mistaken.

Instructions will be provided below as a guide to help you read produce labels.

When produce starts with a four (4) and has four (4) numbers, it was grown with the traditional use of pesticides.

When produce starts with a nine (9) and has five (5) numbers, it was grown organically and not genetically modified.

When produce starts with an eight (8) and has five (5) numbers, it means it was genetically modified.

Moreover, the Environmental Work Group or EWG has done a lot of work on pesticides in the last 15 years. Pesticides have been linked to carcinogenic problems with nervous system and hormonal development as well as general skin, eye, and lung irritation.

EWG’s Shopper Guide or The Dirty Dozen will help you know which produce to buy organic, and which conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are okay to purchase if its organic counterpart is not available.

  1. Peach
  2. Apple
  3. Bell Pepper
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarine
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Grapes Imported
  11. Carrot
  12. Pear

Granted that organic products are not always readily available in the market, there are some that have low levels of pesticides and these are onions, avocados, and broccoli.

In conclusion, fruits and vegetables are beneficial to your health. To maximize what each of these produces have to offer, buy organically as much as possible to have less amount of pesticide residue in your body because as years go by, its accumulation in your body can make you sick instead of healthier.

Source: https://www.ewg.org/news/videos/ewg-and-pesticides-dirty-dozen