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Picking over Lentils

This is an utterly stupid question, but one which has bugged me for a 
long time - any help would be welcome - answer privately if you wish.

Since I started looking seriously at lentil recipes, I have been 
intrigued with the instruction "rinse and pick over".

What exactly am I picking them over for? I assume it is to remove 
something, but I have never found anything that needed removing.

Looking forward to your comments.

Fran Watts 
Ballito, South Africa

Avoid stress - avoid the company of irritating people