Thursday, April 17, 2008

Well, Who Knew?

I received one of those "fun facts" type e-mails today informing me how I could tell the difference between organically grown and genetically engineered produce. I was immediately skeptical and hopped on to see if this was another urban legend making the rounds. Well, turns out this one is true.

Fruits and vegetables have those annoying little stickers with PLU (price look-up) codes on them. Ordinary vegetables have a 4 digit PLU code. But, if the item is certified as organic or genetically modified, it will have a 5 digit PLU code. The organic produce will have a PLU code that begins with a 9 (i.e., 94825). If a produce item has been genetically enhanced, modified, or otherwise scientifically screwed with, the 5 digit PLU code will begin with an 8 (i.e., 84825).

This is useful information for anyone that cares about what they put in their bodies. For years, sneaky little GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been weaseling their way into our food supply. Initially, screwing around with mother nature via genetic tampering was seen as a way to grow bigger, better, disease and insect resistant, or somehow healthier stuff. As with most things too good to be true, we have now come to realize a myriad of potential and real risks associated with genetically altered plants and animals. The concerns range from threat to the environment to danger to one's' health. Today, scientific concern, if not plain old common sense, should be impetus enough for anyone to try and avoid GMOs whenever possible. Now, when I cruise that beautiful produce section at the local market, I can feel a bit more confident about my choices.

I think that's pretty freakin cool! Who knew? Uh oh, now I wonder what kind of grain is going into my beer, naturally occurring or genetically modified? Hmmmm..., something else to worry about now. Shit!

Peace, and healthy eating!

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