Posted on: October 20, 2015 at 7:26 pm
Last updated: September 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Have you ever stared at the sticker on your beautiful Fuji apple and wondered what the numbers meant? Turns out, they really do matter!


Every Number Has a Meaning

Each food product has a series of numbers on their sticker, next time you’re on the food run, check them out and they might reveal a lot more than you already knew! These numbers are referred to as ‘Price Look Up Codes‘ and have been used in supermarkets since 1990 to make check out and inventory easier.



Number 3 and 4

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

Number 8

Finally, that dreaded number starting with an “8” means your food has been genetically modified (GMO). 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 as much as possible as they are associated with many negative side effects, such as;.

  • Increased toxicity
  • Decreased nutritional value
  • Antibiotic resistance (1)

Number 9

Any number that starts with a “9” means that piece of produce is an organic food. 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

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!
This article was republished with permission from

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