But what does it really mean? A chronic reference dose (RfD) is an estimate of the amount of a chemical a person could be exposed to on a daily basis, throughout a lifetime, which is unlikely to cause appreciable risk or harm. We are exposed daily to potential harmful chemicals.
A 2011 analysis in the Journal of Toxicology showed that the RfDs were more than 1,000 times higher than the exposure estimates in the majority of the “dirty dozen.” One conclusion in this article was that risk from pesticides on these foods is negligible.
Explore where you live.
Subscribe for 12 FREE weeks of unlimited digital access.
If you go to this calculator, you’ll find that an average woman would need to consume 454 servings of strawberries a day to be at a slight risk of negative health outcomes.
We want to do everything we can to eat food that is contaminant free but 100 percent clear is not possible. If organic foods are in your budget, then that could be one way to minimize exposure even though pesticides are used on organic produce.
All scientists, and even the folks at EWG, would agree that not eating vegetables and fruits poses the greatest risk to health. For anyone who worries about exposure to pesticides or chemicals, I suggest incorporating more foods that support the liver, which removes toxins from your blood. These include dark green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, beets and garlic.
White / Beige
Properties: Anthoxanthins are the pigments that create white or cream colours.
Health benefits: Some studies have suggested that anthoxanthins may reduce the risk of CVD and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, but there is not enough evidence for us to recommend white fruits and vegetables over those of other colours.
The humble potato – a starchy carbohydrate – gets a lot of bad press, but potatoes are one of the biggest sources of vitamin C in our diets and are full of potassium too. Eat the skins for extra fibre and avoid adding fat when you cook them.
Bananas (which have creamy flesh under that yellow skin), parsnips and mushrooms are also good sources of potassium – an important mineral for normal heart and muscle function.
Suggestions: Bananas, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white peaches.
Top tip: Make mash exciting with cooked celeriac or Jerusalem artichokes. Either mash on their own or together with potatoes.
- Get our recipe for cumin-spiced parsnip soup.
Get our list of 10 colourful foods that aren’t good for you.