Lentils

I love lentils and other wholesome grains like quinoa (I honestly do!). But I'm becoming a bit paranoid about them.

The last two packets of red lentils I have bought from Tesco have been full of weevils. At first I thought, I won't let these little critters bother me, so I just soaked the lentils and skimmed them off the surface before cooking. But the last lot I did - there were so many it took me over half an hour to get rid of them all. I really shouldn't have to do that!

I have become something of an expert on weevils now. The larvae hides inside the grain waiting to hatch out as soon as you have bought the packet and have it in your cupboard.

I decided on no more red lentils from Tesco. So I bought some from Lidl. And guess what, they are full of larvae waiting to pounce on me. (And don't think your pasta is safe either!)

Where can I buy lentils without weevils? It doesn't seem a lot to ask, but if I am going to make all these healthy cholesterol-lowering, diabetes-breaking recipes, I need pulses!

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12 Replies

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  • Oooh scary this. I have a huge packet of lentils from tesco but they seem to be livestock free. I buy my quinoa in sachets that you pop in the microwave from Aldi. It is mixed with brown rice. No problems so far...

    I have heard of flour weevils as well. My friend had those but they were in the cupboard that she stored everything rather than the actual packets. She made such a fuss that her hubby had a new kitchen installed!!

    Obvious question but do you put your lentils etc in airtight tubs or keep them in the packet? Xx

  • The weevils don't get in there. They are in the produce when you buy - but you can't see them because the eggs are laid inside the grain. It is only when you have the sealed packet in the cupboard for a few weeks or months that they hatch out and you see them as tiny black specks that you may not recognise for what they are. I actually need a jeweller's loupe (10x magnification) to spot them so you won't see them in a packet when you buy it - and that is the scary thing.

    I keep everything in airtight containers but it makes no difference - it might stop them from spreading to other grains. They ate very common in flour, cereals, grains, and pasta.

    Weevils actually won't do you any harm if you eat them. I am sure I have eaten loads unknowingly and my husband has because I didn't do a weevil inspection before using them in his shepherd's pie the other week! (but we won't tell him that because he will freak out).

    It is good policy to put your lentils in water before using, then the weevils will float to the top. If you see tiny white specks on the lentils that is where the creature has burrowed to lay their eggs, but most people wouldn't spot it.

    I showed some lentils to my husband that I could see had unhatched weevils in, but he couldn't spot them, but then he says he is not as weevil obsessed as me so didn't know what to look for!

  • Sorry I can't help you here as I have never cooked lentils but I have found them in flour, my mother in law who isnt here anymore used to say you can use it still but I am afraid I am really funny with stuff like that and chucked it away ughhh. 👍😊

  • You know how recipes say seive the flour? It was to get rid of the weevils. The flour in the corner shop would just be in a sack and would be rife with them!! People still survived though!! Xx

  • And I always thought it was to get rid of the lumps!

  • Well thanks for that I love finding out why we do things I would never have guessed you sieve to get rid of them I remember my old cookery teacher saying it was to get rid of lumps but I suppose it's duel purpose lol👍

  • Just examined my lentils- with glasses on – no weevils as far as I can tell :)

    I might rinse them off a bit more carefully before cooking next time. Good timing for this post - creepy crawlies are the in thing for Halloween, although usually it’s spiders!

  • OMG my cupboards are getting emptied and scrutinised CSI style this weekend!!

  • Take them back. I'm sure the supermarkets would welcome the opportunity to put things right.

  • I will take them back because I think the store ought to be made aware. Whether or not they will give me my money back is another matter. I don't particularly want another packet!

  • completely shocked at this! i've never seen any! i didn't know this happened!

  • Probably wise not to look to closely! Ignorance is bliss!

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