Lentils Poison or Not

Frank van de Loo FJVAND00 at ukcc.uky.edu
Mon Jun 20 10:43:16 EST 1994

In article <19JUN199412380283 at pavo.concordia.ca>
r_cayne at pavo.concordia.ca (Richard Cayne) writes:
>Read in old medical textbook that lentils were considered a poisonous
>narcotic. TRUE or False?
To the best of my knowledge, no lentils are poisonous, and I'm standing here to
 tell you that none of those I've eaten have been.  However, there are vetch
(Vicia sp) seeds that are poisonous and are very similar in appearance to red
lentils, and have on occasion been confused with them/sold as if they were
lentils (in developing countries).  I believe the vetch poisons can be leached
from the seed by soaking and washing prior to cooking.
There was a note in Nature about this a year or two ago by Dirk Enneking and
Max Tate of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in Australia.  Get back
to me if you wish to contact them.
Frank van de Loo
USDA/ARS, Lexington, KY.

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