The Observant Astronomer

The passing scene as observed by an observant Jew, who daylights as an astronomer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Soft Fruit

As I was eating my 4040 at lunch, having finally gotten the last of the glue off, I got to wondering just who was behind the conspiracy to put sticky labels on every last plum, peach, and pear, as well as all the other fruits and vegetables. Well it turns out that the power behind this is a group called the Produce Electronic Identification Board, under the auspices of the Produce Marketing Association. These numbers are called Price Look-Up codes (PLUs) and you can see for yourself what a 4153 is here. The idea, apparently, is that there are just too many different kinds of produce in the stores these days and the poor check-out clerks cannot be expected to tell the difference between a gala apple and a braeburn.

Now the Food Marketing Institute needs to get their act together because, despite their claim, 3009 is supposed to be a Russet apple, not a cut of lamb.

According to these people in Missouri, an additional digit on the front may or may not be a cause for worry.

And, if you're really annoyed by the stickers, just wait until the tattoos start showing up.

Still life with tattooed fruit, anyone?


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