Anyone got advice, suggestipns or experience gathering food in urban spaces?
Im worried about contamination and such with eating food grown out of industrialized and car dominated lands. But im not sure how much of a risk it actually is.
Anyone know how to assess risk on this?


i’m sorry i can’t provide an article or hard facts, but i have heard that the fears are generally overblown. considering how much chemical goes into producing industrial agriculture as it is… i doubt the urban environment is any worse most of the time.

as usual, wash everything well before consumption.

@avad thats the assumption ive been working on. Plus im not eating these foods in large quantities so i figure it cant do much harm.
I mainly want to figure it out so i can know if its reasonable to share with others. (My comfort level for myself is different than for others)

@sunflower_avenue I gather in areas that have been parks or forrest patch or uncultivated land for long and not near streets - because I find it difficult to assess otherwise

@sunflower_avenue I have heard avoid plants growing within 10 ft of roads
I don't know, admittedly a lot of times I just eat plants from outside because vegetables from the store have chemicals too
and it feels like a good rule of thumb to assume that if plants are healthy they haven't been sprayed with herbicides and if there are a lot of bees and other insects they haven't been sprayed with pesticides
also even if soil is lead contaminated, fruit is safe, just avoid leaves and roots

@alienskyler good to know on the roots and leaves vs fruit situation!
Of course the issue in the city is that nearly everywhere is within 10ft of a road 🙃

@sunflower_avenue yeah, I feel like I have probably picked stuff closer to roads than that as long as they are on the side of the sidewalk further away from the road and not the strip between the road and the sidewalk
maybe some of what I do isn't advisable, I wouldn't sell plants gathered that way
but I have seen some studies that show that if soil is somewhat contaminated, there is more danger in handling the soil than eating plants that grow in it
also wonder how much of a danger the plants are compared to say, breathing the air that is full of pollutants. like with microplastics in fish, scientists said you get more microplastics from breathing air than from eating fish so you shouldn't necessarily stop eating fish because it's nutritious
I guess I also kind of think that if a plant has detoxifying properties, like dandelion or chickweed, it might balance out or even still be helpful
something I would suggest considering is how likely the specific plant is to uptake toxic metals. for instance nettles, and probably any plant that is known for being high in minerals like calcium and iron, will probably uptake a lot of lead if it is growing in lead contaminated soil
a friend told me violets bioaccumulate lead and it kind of scared me off picking them but now I wonder if the flowers are okay and I should just avoid picking the leaves, since plants will try to avoid toxins in their reproductive parts
but the violet flowers we pick in spring aren't an actual reproductive structure so I don't know if that would still apply

@sunflower_avenue Don't pick plants that are accumulators and try to avoid anywhere people may be spraying plants (including the city).

@RadioAngel makes sense!
Any good resources on which plants are accumulators?

@sunflower_avenue I'm not sure, it's something I need to look into as well.

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