Did you know that apple-picking season is September through November? So how do you get them year-round? They're sprayed with a fungicide to prevent spoilage and then coated with a food-grade wax before being put into cold storage. This grants them the top spot in the Dirty Dozen list. Because pesticides were detected within the flesh of the fruit, peeling and washing doesn't help curb exposure.
Like apples, you can't peel or wash your way out of this one. Because pesticides need to be diluted before being added to crops, they're water soluble. Since celery has a high water content, the toxins are sucked directly into the stalk, making it virtually impossible to get around ingesting the pesticides unless you buy organic.
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
Similar to apples, bell peppers are also coated in food-grade wax, which seals in pesticides and toxins.
Like nectarines and peaches, sweet-tasting strawberries are tempting to bugs. To protect the crop, strawberries get sprayed with pesticides that can't be easily removed by washing or scrubbing.
6. Nectarines And Peaches
Because these fruits are sweet, bugs love to feast on them, which means they get a heavy dose of pesticides that can't be easily removed by washing or scrubbing. Every single nectarine the USDA tested had measurable pesticide.
As a category, grapes have more types of pesticides than any other fruit, with 64 different chemicals.
Cucumbers are coated in food-grade wax to keep them fresh. Like apples and red peppers, the wax encases any pesticides, making them difficult to remove.
Hot peppers became more vulnerable to certain pests, resulting in an increase in pesticide use. Nearly 10 percent of hot pepper crops tested were found to have above average rates of illegal pesticides.
To prevent potatoes from sprouting "eyes" or roots, farmers spray them with toxic compounds, such as lectins, and growth inhibitors, which slow down the growing process and keep potatoes from needing to be refrigerated during storage.
13. Kale And Collared Greens
The pesticides used on these crops are toxic to the nervous system. Even though they have been largely removed from agriculture over the past decade, they aren't banned.