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Fruit Stickers: Look for the 8

You've noticed that tiny stickers that now appear on almost all fruit, and probably been annoyed that you have to peel each one off. These contain bar codes for the check-out clerk, but they also contain a secret the store might not want you to know.

Nutritionist Karma Metzgar of the University of Missouri writes that these stickers also tell you if the fruit is organic or genetically-modified. On conventionally-grown, non-organic fruit, the sticker has only 4 numbers. Organically grown fruit has a five-numeral code, which begins with the number 9. Since organic fruits and vegetables now have to be in separate areas in grocery stores, this confirms that your apple hasn't ended up in the wrong pile. However, the store does not have to reveal which fruits and vegetables are genetically-modified?but you can find out by looking at their stickers, which will begin with the number 8.

According to Metzgar, this means a regular banana would have a sticker saying 4011, an organic banana would say 94011 and a GM banana would say 84011.

Lots of people complain that the stickers are too hard to peel off, so it may be a relief to know that the adhesive is safe to eat.

What's the secret behind the mysterious blue apples? Good news for William Henry fans: he has a new book coming to our store in time for Christmas.

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