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Oct 5, 2006 09:38 PM

Lentil Shortage. Has anyone heard? ...or just rumor?

Can this be? Or is this just a way to get the price of this innocent little legume to quadruple over the next several months? Did over-saturated soil (with all the rains) or extreme heat have any effect on the lentil harvest somewhere? Lentil prices are relatively *low* right now, but scarce availablilty will definitely change that. What's the word on the street out there?

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  1. There was an article in the NYTimes about a week ago. Here's a quote:

    "The Indian government’s recent ban on the export of lentils, to stabilize rising prices there, has led to shortages in New York and a steep increase — depending on the type, sometimes double, or even triple — in the price of lentils."

    It goes on to say that people in certain areas of Queens have been cleaning the shelves of what little is left in anticipation of an upcoming Hindu holiday season.

    1. This is just Indian lentils, or something somehow more widespread?

      1. Nevermind, just read that article.

        1. Even if lentil prices double or triple, they're still cheap.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pikawicca

            My local paper reported the same thing, and that some Indian restaurants are simply not serving the same dal dishes that they were before - too expensive. Lunch buffets that used to have dal dishes like tarka dal, offer something else now.
            Ironic that one of the previously affordable and staple dish for Indians is now not so affordable or staple.

          2. "Even if lentil prices double or triple, they're still cheap"

            Only if you eat them occasionally in Western-side-dish proportions. If bread, pasta or eggs suddenly doubled or tripled in price, would you consider them "still cheap"? (In terms of their food value, you could argue they would be, but few people would agree I think.)