Regarding this problem with grains in the lentils, I hope you know how sorry we are for the experience you had with our product. We pride ourselves with our very high standards for purity but this one just slipped through our fingers.
We’ve done some serious sleuthing to find the root cause of these stowaway grains in our lentils and here’s what we found. The farmer that grows our lentils, rotates his crops every third year with wheat, which is what we determined to be the sort of grains you sent for our inspection. No matter how meticulous the farmer may be in purging the field of wheat at harvest, some errant seeds invariably remain. During the following year when lentils are planted, a few sprouts of wheat pop up along with the lentils. They all get harvested, dried and cleaned together. Screens are used to purify the lentils from sticks and rocks from the farm but wheat is so similar in size to lentils, they both end up in the final product.
With the root cause discovered, you’ll be happy know that the farmer has installed an additional piece of quality control equipment that ensure that customers only receive lentils in their bag. The high tech machine is a color sorting device that uses an electronic eye to detect variations in color. The machine is calibrated to allow only the hue of lentils, so anything lighter or darker—like wheat—gets blown off the conveyor with a sharp blast of air.
There may be a few remaining bags on store shelves that have here-and-there kernels of wheat, but once those are gone you’ll see consistently clean and pure lentils. Thank you so much fur alerting us to this. We wouldn’t have had such valuable insight without you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, I would be pleased to help you.
Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, Inc.
I will keep you updated as I receive any information. Wouldn't it be great if they could produce their beans and lentils in their gluten-free facility, so we could know they were 100% safe.