A vegan food delivery company backed by Serena Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow has recalled a new lentil product after it made customers sick with possible liver damage.
According to a statement from Daily Harvest, the company has received reports of French lentil + leek crumbles causing gastrointestinal issues – an understatement that many unhappy customers say masks the sheer agony induced by consuming the snack without claim.
The company said it took “immediate action” to address customer concerns and contacted everyone who purchased French Lentil + Crumbles. Daily Harvest told those customers to dispose of the product immediately.
But several say they were hospitalized with liver problems and gallbladder damage as a result of consuming the fad-packaged snack.
The statement continues: “If you have French lentil + leek crumbles, please throw them away and do not eat them.”
An email sent to at least one customer offered a $10 credit for each bag of the product purchased, NBC News reports. The email advised the customer to dispose of his French Lentils + Leek Crumbles out of “abundance of caution”.
Lentils should not be eaten raw.
Lentils, like all legumes, contain a protein called lectin that attaches to your digestive tract when not cooked properly.
This often causes stomach upset such as diarrhea and vomiting.
The lectin breaks down and is digestible when the lentils are cooked to an internal temperature of 165F.
Daily Harvest said in a statement: “If you have French lentil + leek crumbles, please throw them away and do not eat them.”
Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori has a net worth of $350 million
Among Daily Harvest’s celebrity investors is healthy living guru and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow
Boston’s Luke Tashie, pictured, suffered horrific liver pain and gallbladder damage following his encounter with a packet of Daily Harvest lentil crumbs
On June 18, TikTok influencer Abby Silverman posted a video describing how she received a free promotional package from Daily Harvest in May.
After eating the lentils, Silverman said she started having “extreme pain in her stomach and gastrointestinal tract and went to the hospital, ER, in the middle of the night.”
Silverman, who has more than 100,000 followers on TikTok, said doctors can diagnose her issues. She had high liver enzymes and bacteria in her urine, which staff thought she might have a UTI.
When Silverman was released, she took antibiotics for five days. After the fifth, the pain returned and she returned to the emergency room.
She says staff have performed all possible tests but still have not been able to diagnose the problem.
Silverman says she has an appointment with a liver specialist this week because her enzyme levels are still high.
At the time of the video, Silverman said he received an email from Daily Harvest warning of possible health risks with their product.
She then Googled French Lentil + Leek Crumbles to find that dozens of other people were suffering from the exact same symptoms.
At one point in the video, Silverman accuses Daily Harvest of deleting comments from social media in order to keep the scandal quiet.
Silverman assumes that because she received a promotional packet from the company, she ate the lentils before they were available to the public, which is why she got sick first.
She continues: “I’ve never had a health problem before until I literally ate this, it’s the only thing that’s different from my routine.”
Silverman warns his followers to throw out the product if they have it and contact Daily Harvest.
She concludes by saying, “I’m not the kind of person to blow up a brand, but this is really, really serious.” People have serious health problems.
Boston man Luke Tashie pictured her with his wife Laura said he suffered from ‘extreme liver pain’ after eating the lentils
Another customer, Luke Tashie, told NBC he suffered from “extreme liver pain” after eating lentils.
Tashie, of Boston, went on to say he didn’t believe Daily Harvest was taking the issue seriously. He was hospitalized due to his extreme pain.
Tashie said in a Reddit post: “The surgeons who saw me were so perplexed that they seriously considered removing my gallbladder.”
His wife, Laura Tashie, wrote in a Facebook post that her husband was “in and out of the hospital” and that the FDA was coming to their home to investigate the product.
Laura Tashie said they first heard of Daily Harvest on June 17, when her husband was already being treated in hospital. An e-mail stated that the lenses could cause gastrointestinal “discomfort”.
She added: ‘Luke is due for a liver biopsy and may have long term damage from this product.
The message concluded: “Pay attention to Daily Harvest for now!”
People started posting about lenses on Reddit on June 15.
Earlier in June 2022, Forbes magazine ran an article about Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori.
Drori, 39, founded the company in 2015 in Queens, New York.
The magazine said Drori’s net worth was $350 million, with his company reporting earnings of $250 million in 2020.
Investor and NBA superstar Blake Griffin said in May: ‘Finding out about Daily Harvest was a game-changer for me’
Tennis superstar Serena Williams is another icon who has invested in Daily Harvest
NBA star Carmelo Anthony is among the company’s investors
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay also supports Daily Harvest
The company is valued at approximately $1.1 billion. Famous investors in the company include tennis icon Serena Williams, NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
In May 2022, Griffin and Anthony teamed up with Daily Harvest to launch a program called Eat the Solution to encourage people to eat organic fruits and vegetables every day.
Griffin said at the time, “Throughout my career I have continued to evolve to take care of my body and discovering Daily Harvest was a game changer for me.”
He continued: “With this investment, I look forward to working closely with Rachel and the team at Daily Harvest to help educate the next generation about the impact – on our bodies and the planet – of eating more organic fruits and vegetables every day.”
Drori told Forbes: “I created Daily Harvest to reimagine how food can feed both humanity and the planet. We’re making it easier to eat more sustainable fruits and vegetables and the more we grow, the more we can do. We are laying the foundations for a better future.
Drori went on to say that Daily Harvest sources from around 400 farmers across the country. Their crops are frozen with 24 hours of picking.
The Daily Harvest website intro greets users by saying, “Never out of season.” Meals prepared by the chef using fruits and vegetables from sustainable sources, delivered directly to your home.
French Lentil + Leek is described on the site as tasting like a “herb lentil burger.” Three servings of the product cost $9.79. Below the price it reads: “This item is temporarily discontinued”.
Customer reviews of the product are mixed, with more recent ones complimenting it as “actually quite good and easy to make.” While another says “not great”. Not the best texture.
The company’s crumbles come in another flavor, Walnut + Thyme.
Daily Harvest says internal and external investigations have been launched into the source of the problem.