One of your New Year's resolutions was to improve your diet in 2014. Less vending machine, more vegetables. Fewer fries, more fruit. But there is a pesky problem with produce: Fruit stickers. Every supermarket apple, avocado & apricot carries with it a sticky, numeric tag that tells your cashier's computer what type of healthy snack you're taking home today.
You probably haven't given them a second thought... but we did... and we learned some pretty interesting things -- eight interesting things to be exact:
1. Fruit stickers are edible! Should you peel them off? Yes. But, if you happen to eat one or two it’s not a big deal. They’re actually made out of “edible paper” or other food grade materials with that possibility in mind!
2. Even the glue is food grade. The FDA says so.
3. The numbers have meaning:
- Stickers on conventionally grown produce have four digit numbers
- Organic produce labels have five digit numbers and they always start with a "9"
- Genetically modified produce labels also have five digits, but they always start with "8"
4. The numbers are the same everywhere. For example, all conventionally grown bananas get stuck with the number 4011 everywhere you go. Everywhere.
5. Do you find fruit labels hard to remove? Use scotch tape to take them off. In a 1999 Dear Heloise column, Laurel Powers from Rochester, New York, suggested using a piece of tape to remove the sticker! And it works! Most of the time -- at least on apples:
TIL You can use tape to easily peel away fruit stickers! https://t.co/cvAMqHKUIX
— Grayson (@_Grayson) January 15, 2014
6. If you haven’t eaten it or thrown it away, you can turn fruit stickers into art.
7. Fruit “tattoos" applied by laser might make stickers obsolete.
8. This is the ingenious machine that gently “kisses” the label onto your fruit:
Want to avoid produce tags all together? Find a genuine farmers market in your area and buy straight from the sticker-free source... or plant a tree!