This Man Started Sending Lentils During the Pandemic to Connect with Loved Ones

love-of-lentilsDickie Nelson of Twin Bridges, Montana has always bought his lentils from the co-op in Bozeman, Montana. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – like with many supply chains during that time who felt a strain – ran into the situation of the co-op being out.

Dickie, who regularly cooks with lentils, decided to check out the Timeless Natural Food website to see if he could order some directly from the source to his home. On his way to finding the online shop he took a little detour to read about Timeless.

“I started reading the Timeless story and felt like it was something I should support,” Dickie said.

“I really believe in supporting people who are trying to make the world a better place. I’m someone who can’t grow a carrot, or anything, so one way I could show my support for what I’ll call the lentil movement is by ordering more lentils – and what better way to do that than by sharing with friends, family, and others.”

Dickie’s idea to share his love of lentils was the start of something more than he could have imagined – especially during the pandemic. He was sending them to a range of people, from those who have loved and cooked lentils their whole life to those who didn’t even know what a lentil was.

“Now I get three to four emails a day with friends sharing the lentil dishes they’ve tried so far and leading to discussions of their favorite colored lentils,” Dickie described.

He says it’s most fun sending a package to a family with kids.

“I address the lentils to the kids, and they’re excited to get a gift,” Dickie said. “Then they prod their parents into making all the different colors and recipes. And it’s just been a lot of fun from my standpoint.”

Dickie credits sending his unique gift to creating a lot more contact with people during the isolation of the pandemic that wouldn’t have been there if he hadn’t started sending the lentils.

“It’s a very odd present – I think you’d admit – everyone when they first get it is a little confused or they don’t know why they’re getting it,” Dickie said. “But once they start getting with the program and realizing that lentils are really a great food – it brings joy to people to search out recipes, to cook them, and to have family dinners together.”

They may be an odd gift, but that’s right, lentils are really nutritious and good for you. You can read more about that in some of our other blogs: The Benefit of Fiber in Your Diet, The De-Stress Diet: Four Stress-Reducing Reasons to Start Eating Lentils Now

For Dickie, he just clicks a button and it brings people that kind of happiness and healthfulness.

Of course, we had to know some of Dickie’s favorites when it comes to lentils.

“Well, we always like Indian food so we’ve used the Organic Petite Crimson Lentils to make Dals a lot, my brother-in-law is French, so we’ve made some fantastic high-class dishes with the Organic Black Beluga Lentils®,” Dickie explained.

In reality, Nelson said that they usually end up dumping lentils into everything -- chilis, casseroles – they end up using lentils almost like a seasoning.

“Every time we put lentils into something it gives it a depth it wouldn’t have otherwise,” Dickie describes. “So, from a cooking standpoint it’s been really fun.”

Which, who doesn’t need some fun to the monotony of cooking most meals from home lately.

Nelson says he’s going to keep ordering lentils as he is able and thinks of new people to send them too.

Ending our conversation talking about sharing, bring joy, and showing loved ones you care. That one holiday that comes around in February of course came up and Dickie suggests skipping the chocolates this year and show your love by sending lentils.

“I am a real believer in that old adage that it is not important whether they remember you for a good or bad thing, but just that they remember you - and they would certainly remember a gift of lentils!” Dickie said.

If all this talk of fun and sharing happiness has you feeling inspired you can shop ‘The Nelson Collection’ on our website.