It can become quite confusing when trying to buy organic foods from you regular chain grocery store, especially if the organic produce doesn't have it's own section. Here are some tips...
The IFPC (the International Federation for Produce Coding) is a world-wide coalition of fruit and vegetable associations that joined together in 2001 to introduce a global standard for the use of PLU numbers. PLU codes are not part of a regulatory system so there are no requirements that state grocery stores must use them. It is solely for their own convenience if they do. The PLU number is the 4-5 digit code usually found on a small sticker placed on each piece of produce individually.
Organic produce has a 5 digit number that starts with a 9. If you need a pneumonic to remember, how about, "9 is divine."
Conventional produce should have a 4 digit number starting with a 3 or 4. "4 on the floor" or "3, no siree."
Genetically Engineered (GE) produce is a 5 digit number starting with an 8. "8, not on my plate"
*In 1992 the FDA declared biotech foods to be the same as conventional foods. They assigned these foods with the number 8 thinking that consumers would prefer to buy the GE foods. Now the biotech companies are fighting to remove the special designation for their foods. The number 8 is appearing less and less.
Please post a comment if you come up with any better rhymes than I did.