If you spend any amount of time studying your ingredient labels on the foods you buy and/or those you choose to put back on the shelf, you’ve recognized various symbols, numbers and other unknown notations.  Some we have learned along the way and others are still a mystery.  I decided to take some time to unravel the mystery and make it as easy as possible to innerstand what your products contain, how they are processed and why.

 

GMO/NON-GMO what’s this all about?

NonGMOThis  label/symbol means that the ingredients in your product have been verified as being Non-GMO, however a fee had to be paid in order to display this symbol on the label so don’t assume that the ingredients are GMO  just because they do not have this on them.

 Not sure exactly what GMO is all about?  Check out this website http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/ and get access to a list of companies that are part of this project.

 

Kosher Symbols – Products that have been certified as kosher are labeled with kosher symbols.

Kosher symbols not only ensure that the food is kosher, they also identify the kosher certifying organization that issued the certification.

Kosher food is food prepared in accordance with Jewish Dietary Laws.

In their most “biblical” form, Jewish Dietary Laws state:

  • Pork, rabbit, eagle, owl, catfish, sturgeon, and any shellfish, insect or reptile are non-kosher.
  • Other species of meat and fowl must be slaughtered in a prescribed manner to be kosher.
  • Meat and dairy products may not be made or consumed together.

A kosher food that is processed or cooked together with a non-kosher food, or any derivative of a non-kosher food, becomes non-kosher. For example, food coloring derived from a shellfish and used in a cake makes the cake non-kosher.

 

Symbok_k_3The OK provides certification for food giants and products such as IFF, Kraft, ConAgra and Tropicana.

 Symbol_UDifferent rabbis have different views about what exactly passes as kosher. The OU symbol, belonging to the Orthodox Union, is one of the strictest kosher standards on the market today.

Symbol_crc cRc stands for Chicago Rabbinical Council, the largest regional, not-for-profit, Orthodox organization in North America.

Symbok_k The KOF-K symbol is the internationally recognized trademark of KOF-K Kosher Supervision, one of the foremost kosher certification agencies in the United States.

Symbok_k_2Triangle-K certification is awarded by a consortium of Orthodox Jewish rabbis who desire to see as wide a range of food products as possible made available to kosher consumers worldwide.

Symbok_k_4Star-K, the symbol of the Baltimore-based Star-K Kosher Certification Agency, provides kosher supervision globally. Star-K is the only one that certifies technology.

Meat:

“Meat”, “M” or “Glatt” printed near the kosher symbol on the food package indicates the product is kosher and contains some meat or meat derivative.

Dairy:

“Dairy” or “D” printed near the kosher symbol on the food package indicates the product is kosher and contains some milk or milk derivative.

Fish:

“F” printed near the kosher symbol on the food package indicates the product is kosher and contains fish ingredients.

Pareve:

“Pareve”, “Parev”, or “Parve” printed near the kosher symbol on the food package indicates the item is neither meat or dairy.

Passover:

“P” printed near the kosher symbol on the food package does not stand for pareve, but instead it means the product is kosher for Passover and all year round.

Furthermore, D-P means dairy and kosher for Passover and all year round. M-P or Glatt-P means meat and kosher for Passover and all year round. F-P means fish and kosher for Passover and all year round.

 

Numbers on fruit and veggies

Price Look-Up codes, commonly called PLU codes, PLU numbers or PLUs, are identification numbers affixed to produce and other products in grocery stores and supermarkets to make check-out and inventory control easier, faster, and more accurate.

The code is a four or five-digit number, identifying the type of bulk produce, usually including the variety.

PLU stickers that have 4 digits and begin with a “3″ or “4″: produce is conventionally grown. This means that this produce was sprayed with weed killers and chemical pesticides.

PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “8″: produce was genetically engineered (man intervened by manipulating the genes to produce a larger or brighter colored food). This produce may have been chemically treated.

 

Conventional produce gets a four-digit number.

Organic produce gets a five-digit number that starts with 9.

Genetically modified items also get a five-digit code, but that code starts with 8.

Examples
4139: Conventional Granny Smith apple
94139: Organic Granny Smith
84139: Genetically Modified Granny Smith

PLU stickers that have 5-digits and start with “9″: produce was raised organically. You can be sure that this produce was not treated with any chemicals.

Do a little research and find out more about where you fruit and veggies are coming from http://plucodes.com/search_wizard.aspx?s=1

There are others and I’m sure some of this info will change but the point is don’t stop looking at your labels and asking what is this and why is it here.  Empower yourself so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family.

 

 

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