06/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Urban Foraging: What's Worse -- Pesticides Or Dog Urine?

In honor of spring finally coming to my frigid corner of the Midwest, I was thinking about trying my hand at making some dandelion wine. But I live in a major metropolitan area and the only dandelions available are in parks. There are hundreds of parks in Chicago and millions of dandelions, and I'm sure no one will care if I pick them. My concern is pesticides. Since dandelions are generally considered a noxious weed, I am worried they are probably being doused with the stuff, and I am not interested in drinking pesticide-infused wine. Is there a way I can look into the pesticide usage? Will washing reduce the pesticides sufficiently?

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