Where to buy Whole Grains, Beans, Lentils, Seeds, Split Peas

This is for the San Francisco Bay Area mainly (though national chains Costco, Whole foods, and Safeway are listed below).

If you comment on what is available in your local stores, I’ll add that to a national section if I get enough comments.  Canned goods are not listed.

Berkeley Bowl East, 2020 Oregon St &

Berkeley Bowl West, 920 Heinz

These are the best stores in America.  I can never leave the bay area because of this.  I take visitors to see these stores.  They have the worlds fastest checkers, so don’t be daunted by long lines, you’ll be through in no time, plus there are wonderful magazines to look at while waiting you can’t buy anywhere else.  Low prices, enormous variety (22 kinds of apples the last time I was there).

Most of these are organic.

Bin Grains: Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Canahua, Farro (emmer wheat), Millet, Oats, Quinoa (tan, red, black), Rice (brown, red, black, wild), Rye, Wheat (hard red).

Also Kamut, but every time I’ve bought this grain little bugs have hatched out, so I never buy kamut anymore (probably just one local supplier, your area may be okay).  In 10 years this hasn’t happened to any of the other grains.

Bin Lentils & Split Peas: French, green, red, split pea (green & yellow)

Bin Beans: black, black-eyed peas, cannelini, California red, fava, garbanzo (chickpea), great northern, kidney, mung, navy, pink, pinto,

Bin Seeds: flax, hemp, poppy, pumpkin (pepitas), sesame (tan, white, black), sunflower.

Packaged goods: haven’t looked recently since I buy from the bins


Each store carries different items to suit their customers, and it keeps changing, in April 2013 I found:

Packaged grains: Lundberg organic short-grain brown rice (my favorite), Lundberg Wild Blend rice, Black rice heirloom from villageharvestrice.com, Farro (Emmer Wheat), Bob’s Mill Steel Cut Oats

Packaged seeds: Bob’s Mill Golden flaxseed meal, Hemp seeds

Packaged beans: black beans, pinto beans, Mayocoba beans


Packaged Grains: Barley, Rice (brown, wild)

Packaged Lentils & Split Peas: green lenils, green split peas

Packaged Beans: black, black-eyed peas, kidney, lima, navy, pink, pinto, red

Packaged Seeds: sunflower.

Bombay Spice House, 1036 University Ave/10th st & Milan, 900 University/9th st, Berkeley, CA

Bombay Spice house has packaged items, Milan has both packaged and bin items.

At WebMD, in “How Save is Imported Food?”, India was listed as second to China in FDA rejected shipments.  None of these flours are organic.  The foods most commonly rejected are: vegetables and vegetable products; fishery and seafood products; spices, flavors and salts; and candies.  But not flour, whole lentils, and beans, so I think these are probably okay — they’re certainly a lot less expensive than most grocery stores.  If you’re going to mill the softer legumes in a coffee & spice mill, you could soak them in water a while, drain, and wait for them to dry out a bit.

Packaged/Bin Beans & Lentils: Moong dal chika $6.50/4 lbs, moong dal soya $6.50/4 lbs, yellow vatana (a pea) $2/2 lbs, moong beans $5/4 lbs, chana dal $3/2 lbs, dried green peas $5/4 lbs, urid, masoor dal (red lentils), kala chana (chickpea) $6/4lbs, Horse gram beans $4.50/2 lbs, Moth beans $3.50/2 lbs, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and many other kinds of beans you’re familiar with.

Packaged/Bin seeds: flax $2.50/14 oz, white poppy seeds $2.50/3.5 oz, Panch Phoron (5 types of seeds) $1.50/3.5 oz, Ajman / ajowan / ajwain seeds $3/7 oz

About Alice

I've milled and baked with whole grains for many years, because whole grains are delicious, and white flour is missing the nutrition that protects you from cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. Plus it's a good emergency food.
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