Is it safe to eat weeds?

Dandelions are a popular form of weed. (iStock)

Consider the poor, unloved weed: the scourge of gardeners, that reliable representative of unchecked growth, the rangy opportunist peeking from cracks in the sidewalks.

Now consider eating it.

Consider the wild, bitter flavor that’s common to many undomesticated edible greens. Consider eating these plants as part of a holiday celebration, as one may do in Japan, or eating them slow-cooked in a stew with pork and chiles, as is commonly done in Mexico. Weeds aren’t factory-farmed; they’re optimized to the conditions of wherever they happen to be growing; they are, by definition, a local food. Pluscheap as hell.

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