Saskatchewan Lentils

 

Lentils have been part of the human diet since the aceramic (before pottery) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. Archeological evidence shows they were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago. Lentil colors range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown and black. Lentils also vary in size (e.g. Masoor lentils, shown in photos here), and are sold in many forms, with or without the skins, whole or split. Lentils are relatively tolerant to drought, and are grown throughout the world.

The FAO reported that the world production of lentils for calendar year 2009 was 3.917 million metric tons, primarily coming from Canada, India, Turkey and Australia. About a quarter of the worldwide production of lentils is from India, most of which is consumed in the domestic market. Canada is the largest export producer of lentils in the world and Saskatchewan is the most important producing region in Canada. Statistics Canada estimates that Canadian lentil production for the 2009/10 year is a record 1.5 million metric tons.

 

Report on Business Feature Story: The 18,700-kilometre journey of a Canadian lentil