This is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The banner message above from the Center for Disease Control is on target about testing with one exception. Get your soil tested for heavy metals (lead in particular) before planting any edible plants on your urban property.
I have lived in Brooklyn for six years and have never seen a public warning about the threat of lead poisoning of young children from home-grown produce.
Following are a few photos of edible plants growing in my neighborhood. Would I eat vegetables from these plants? I think not.
Incidentally, I have many, many more photos like these. Those below are recent examples just a few blocks away from me.
Soil contamination continues to be a "dirty secret" of urban gardening for the mass of city dwellers outside the inner circle of community gardeners who keep it to themselves.
Who educates recent immigrants and low income people? From my experience the answer is no one.
Roadside "drive-thru tomato garden". What are they thinking? Little kids could easily pick from here right into their mouths before you know it.
Did they have this soil tested for heavy metal contamination before planting this garden? Who knows but it is doubtful.