Do you remember your PLUs?

About a year ago I ran a post about PLUs.  These are the numbers listed on the little stickers of the produce we purchase.  Did you remember that PLUs (“Product {or Price} Look-Up” labels) actually mean something?… they aren’t just random numbers.

I have them in long-term memory but I was reminded about them during my recent grocery store trip when I realized (while standing in line, of course!) that I had forgotten to purchase tomatoes.  I asked my 10-year old to run back to the produce section and bring back three tomatoes.  I did, however, forget to be specific… ugh-oh.  Well, lo and behold, she returned with three lovely tomatoes and said “Don’t worry… they’re 9 Mom!”  Yes, she remembered!

So, it’s a good time for a reminder:  the important number is actually the first digit and they can tell you a whole lot about the produce you purchase.  It tells you exactly how it was grown.

Here are the digits you need to remember (with an update from my past post) :

  • 3 or 4 – indicates conventionally grown produce (grown with pesticides, herbicides & fertilizers)
  • 8 – originally I had indicated that this identifies genetically-modified (GMO) or genetically-engineered (GE) produce but more evidence is showing that this may not be so and there is no true designation for GMO.
  • 9 – indicates that the produce is ORGANIC

The next time you pick up a piece of produce: (1) look at the first digit of the PLU label, (2) remember these numbers, (3) know what you’re buying and then (4) rest assured that they’ll tell you more about the food you’re buying for (and serving to) your family.  And, even when you don’t expect it, your kids may catch on too!

Do you really know what you’re eating?

GMO strawbSo, I’ve reviewed and given away some fantastic eco-products over the past weeks.  Congrats to the winners – I hope you’re enjoying your prizes! – and don’t forget that a few of the giveaways are still open for entries!

Now I need to move on to something that has always been high on my list of concerns… the foods I feed my family.  It’s been no secret that I favor organic foods (and I’m an avid supporter of CSAs).  I also try to steer clear of anything processed and shop the perimeter of grocery stores where fresh foods are often found. But, more and more, genetically altered foods are finding their way into our daily “eats”!GMO no

One of my previous posts talked about all of my biggest concerns with these foods but, for a simple explanation: genetic modification is a process of recombining DNA in food sources to introduce new characteristics or desirable traits. Ugh. Changing DNA?!?  There is also no long-term and/or conclusive research about the consumption of these “altered” foods and the effects on the people consuming them… doesn’t that just make your stomach swirl… yea, in a big way!

Would it bother you more if I told you that, currently, these genetically engineered foods have no labels identifying them as GMO.  The FDA simply has no requirements.

GMO tomEnvironmental Working Group (EWG) and the Just Label It campaign has a petition to the FDA demanding that genetically engineered foods are labeled… if you’re so compelled, sign it and tell them you want to know what you’re eating!

A dear friend of mine taught me that “silence is compliance”… when it comes to my family’s food, I don’t want to be silent! Sign with me?

A resource for everyone who loves their organics

org consum assocTwo weeks ago I wrote an article about “Antibiotics in our Food Supply”.  I got some interesting emails as a result (after I addressed the fact that I had been accused of writing “fear based content”). Again, that’s never my intent, but anyhow… a reader also sent me a fact and a link.  This, too, is worthy of sharing.

“Today, 7 out of every 10 items on grocery stores shelves contain ingredients that have been genetically modified. In other words, scientists are using new technology to transfer the genes of one species to another, and these altered foods are in the market stream. And yet many scientists have concerns about the safety — to people, wildlife and the environment — of this process. That’s why consumers in Asia and Europe are demanding that their food be free of genetically modified ingredients.”

Take that however you’d like but I will say again and again that I hate my foods being “messed with”! (And now I will jump off my soapbox and just continue…) As for the link, it directed me to the Organic Consumers Association site.  I checked it out and it’s fantastic.organic food aisle

Whether you are want to join a campaign and take action, find green/organic products and services in your area, or just catch up on some green news, it’s a great resource… for everyone.

As the saying goes, “we are what we eat” and, although I am far from perfect, I prefer to remain “un-modified”! You?

Do you know what your PLU produce labels mean?

PLUOkay, another “confession”… until recently, I had no idea either!  I’m talking about the little stickers on the produce we purchase.  They’re actually called PLUs, (“Product {or Price} Look-Up” labels), and would you believe the numbers actually mean something?… they aren’t just random numbers.

(*Insert a look of surprise from me too!*)

The important number is actually the first digit and they can tell you a whole lot about the produce you purchase.  It tells you exactly how it was grown.

Here are the digits you need to remember:

  • 3 or 4 – indicates conventionally grown produce (grown with pesticides, herbicides & fertilizers)
  • 9 – indicates that the produce is ORGANIC

The next time you pick up a piece of produce: (1) look at the first digit of the PLU label, (2) remember these numbers, (3) know what you’re buying and then (4) rest assured that they’ll tell you everything you want to know about the food you’re buying for (and serving to) your family.

(*Yes, continue that look of surprise from me too!…*)

Help stop the push for genetically modified salmon!

Food seems to be a hot topic for Mom Goes Green lately, but again it seems there’s good reason… food producers continue to want to alter our foods to make it more profitable for them, but are they risking our health in the process?

slmon filltQuite frankly, genetically modified food scares me.  When you mess with nature, it seems obvious that it opens the floodgates for unknown risks.  I want no part of that.

The latest concern?  Salmon.  It seems the FDA is on the verge of approving AquaBounty Technologies’s request to create mutant Atlantic salmon by artificially combining growth hormone genes from a Pacific salmon with DNA from an eelpout. This will make the salmon mature in 17 months (as opposed to 30 months) in “farm” settings (Note: this does not apply to wild-caught salmon).

Just as alarming is the fact that the FDA will NOT do its own testing but will rely on information provided by none other than AquaBounty Technologies themselves… the company that wants approval!!!  Adding insult to injury, this genetically modified salmon will NOT have to be labeled and identified as modified, so you will have no idea what you are consuming.slmon farm

Change.org has posted a petition to speak out against this pending approval from the FDA… if you feel compelled to add your signature, please click here.

My recent post about the Seafood Watch Guide already indicated that our best choice (for both health and environmental concerns) is Wild Alaskan Salmon, but more than anything, I’m telling this story so my readers can be aware KNOW where your salmon comes from because, yes, … something smells fishy…