Are they safe to eat?

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"Chef!"

I spun around and saw my boss, Peter, talking to a prominent chef, one I hadn't seen at Green City Market in quite a while.

"I don't usually see you at this market," Peter said to him.

"Well, yeah. I sort of try not to come here because I spend the whole time talking to people."

Ugh. Tell me about it. I spend the whole time talking to people, too.

No good can come of it.

Like when I heard this question again and again:

"Are they safe to eat?"

This was in reference to the wild strawberries, the fraises des bois.

Yes, they're perfectly safe to eat. I mean, honestly, if you gave the question half a second's thought, wouldn't you realize there's only one logical answer? They're set out on a table at a farmers' market. We're charging $7 a half-pint for them. They're safe to eat.

And then later, someone else: "Are they safe to eat?"

I should have said, "No! My God! You didn't eat one did you!? Tell me you didn't have one!"

And then later, once more with someone else: "Are they safe to eat?"

"Yes, they're safe to eat. You can try one if you'd like."

"So they're safe to eat?"

"Yes!"

"Well, I wasn't sure. You know, with my irritable bowel ..."

Stop.

Just stop.

Daniel Shumski works for an orchard and writes Fruit Slinger, a seasonal blog about fruit and farmers markets. Follow him on Twitter.

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