Why are lentils so cheap?


Here in Wisconsin 80¢ at Woodman’s gets me over a thousand calories worth of high protein, high fiber goodness, and I just do not understand. How are they so cheap? Are they just that easy to grow?

In: Economics


I don’t know why either. Lentils are delicious, Americans just don’t know how to cook them.

If you look at the bulk cost of [lentils on ycharts](https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_lentils_price_received) the in 2020 was $14.60 to $22,20 for Hundredweight = 100 pounds

At the same time [wheat on ycharts](https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_wheat_price_received) in 2020 you get $4.54 to $5.43 for 1 Bushel that is 60 pounds for wheat so $7.57- $9.05 for 100 pounds.

So the cost of lentils is between 1.9x and 2.6x the cost of wheat. Soybeans is around 1.1x lentils.

Plants you can grow on fields on large scale and harvest with machines are very cheap.
Plant protein is the cheapest form of protein, it is not surprising because crops like that are grown to be feed to cattle and other animals to produce food for use. It is a log more efficient for humans to eat the plants directly. The “problem” is that most think that the meat is tastier and prefer it.

There is no secret behind them and other similar food. You might not be used to them because they are not popular where you live but they are a staple food on the Indian subcontinent.