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- Food Safety
How do Numbers and Labels rule our Health and Well-being?
Stickers are found on all the food items that we purchase, but little do we notice the numbers on it. These numbers are called the price look-up (PLU) number, and it speaks a lot about our health and the history of the produce such as where was it grown, how was it developed and under what circumstances was it cultivated. The PLU number is significant and is mandatory for all the produce.
The number of digits in the PLU number matters.
If it is a four digit sticker, then that produce was grown with the help of pesticides. Example: Bananas having a code of 4011
If the sticker is a five digit and the number starts with an 8 then that produce has been genetically modified. Example: Banana having a code of 84011
If the PLU number has five digits and the number starts with 9, then that food has been grown organically. Example: Banana having a code of 94011
Humans are advised to eat at least 3-4 serving of fruit and vegetables per day. We should lower our pesticide intake by eating least contaminated produce.
Some of the produce that is highly contaminated and should be eaten organic is listed in the table below
Sweet Bell Peppers
There are certain produces, which need not be organic.The list is given below in a table format.
Foods are also genetically engineered to be herbicide or insect resistant, but experts have found this mutation to alter the nutritional value of many crops. The list is documented in a table format.
- Non-GMO Project
This site gives details on GMO products and helps us look for Non-GMO produces so that man can live a healthy life
When shopping for foods, look out for:
- PLU numbers, which are small stickers found on the food and comply with the above rules.
- Look for the USDA Organic Seal. This seal certifies that food is produced without the use of antibiotics, synthetic hormones or genetic engineering.
- Look for Non-GMO labels. This label certifies that it is not genetically modified (non-GM), however; this does not mean the product is organic.
- Look for rBST-free or rbGH free seal. This certifies that animals are not injected with recombinant bovine growth hormone to boost milk production. However, many brands swear to be rBST-free, but it is always good to be aware of it.
All humans are subjected to Non-Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods. Recently, North America has created a non-profit organization, which is creating awareness of genetically modified produces and it’s effects since they believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume GMO foods.
Non-GMO.org Website has all the information about the various foods subjected to mutations and what choices man can make to prevent it from consuming it.
Organic Foods and their expenses
We all are aware that organic foods are expensive and in this kind of economy when sustaining a job is tight, and inflation is hitting us all. We could avoid consuming foods that are rich in pesticides and try for Non-GMO produces or aim for foods that have low levels of pesticides in them and need not be organic (listed above)
Look for the nutritional value of the produce, which is dirty with pesticide (Example: Apple), and try to replace it with another food from the not so dirty list.
The saying that, “An apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Does not hold true with many pesticides this poor fruit gets sprayed upon.
Apples are rich in Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. If buying organic is hard for the pocket, try purchasing Mangoes or Plums or Watermelon, which make the safer list and are equally delicious in the above nutrients.
Message to our Farmers
Why create such produce, which comes under the radar and humans cannot consume because of the chemicals thriving on it? Why create such food that can cause a debilitating disease to humankind?
Nature is in abundance and also perfect if looked into the logistics of it.
The bottom line is: One should eat healthily and make the right choices to stay in good condition.
Food Label and Man's health
- The case for Proposition 37 - latimes.com
Proposition 37 is rooted in a simple premise: Consumers have the right to know if their food is produced using genetic engineering.
California is proposing Proposition 37 where the farmers are subjected to say how their produces have been grown. They have to show labels on their harvest.