Lentil Vegetable Soup
Almost all local
Bacon grease - saved from the bacon from the Tamworth Hog I got last year
Onion - farmer's market
Carrots - farmer's market
Parsnips - my garden
Kale - farmer's market
Garlic - my garden
Canned tomatoes - my garden, preserved this summer.
Lentils - not local. In fact, where do lentils come from? This had me thinking. I have never seen lentils in any of my seed catalogs - where are they grown?
I spent some time while I was at the reference desk today researching lentils. They are in fact grown in the United States but primarily in Western Washington, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota. Apparently, the US exports about 70% of their crop. To whom? And where do we get our lentils then?
The US government is a wealth of information. The biggest importer of US lentils is India. The biggest exporter to the US and in fact, to anywhere in the world is Canada. We get our lentils from Canada and Turkey as well as several other countries.
There is a US Dry Pea, Lentil and Chickpea Council. Who knew?
There is also a Northern Crops Institute. What's interesting is that California has lost all of its lentil growers in the past 20 years, Washington and Idaho have also lost 1/2 of their growers while North Dakota has created a lentil industry. So did the farmers all move to ND? Why the change in locale over the years?
I went to the grocery store today and picked up a bag of store brand brown lentils. There was no information on where they were grown, only that they were distributed by a company in NH. I'm almost tempted to get the contact information of the distributor to ask where the lentils are grown. I'm fascinated by this lentil story.