Iceland is well-known for its many natural wonders, but even in terms of food it is a very interesting country. Icelandic cuisine contains many dishes unknown in other parts of the world. A paradise for meat and fish lovers, most of the food on offer is mainly based on these two ingredients.
Nevertheless, vegetarians, vegans, and all those who care about their diet will find everything they could want here. Iceland has developed over time and now, you will also be able to find non-GMO food on the shelves of many stores here. In this article, we point out where you can find organic food stores in Iceland, and where to eat these ecological products.
What is Organic Food?
Organic food, also known as ecological food, is made without the use of chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. By definition, organic food is not solely reserved for vegetables and fruits, but also meat and other animal products such as milk.
Meat is fully organic when the farm it is bred on follows certain standards, otherwise, they will not get the appropriate certificate. Breeders are not allowed to give animals antibiotics and other harmful substances and must provide them with healthy, natural food. Later in this article we’ll touch on where visitors can go if they want to see Iceland’s organic farms.
For Icelanders, nature is part of their identity. Locals desire to live in harmony with their natural surroundings, so it’s no wonder that most of their farms are gradually transitioning to organic production. New, organic food stores are established and in many well-known supermarkets, you can now find special shelves with healthy food marked as BIO.
Local goodies – Organic food produced in Iceland
Icelanders live on an island and are very well aware of the costly prices it takes to import goods and products to their country. While there are many products in a continuous cycle of importation to Iceland, lately the nation is trying to produce food for their own needs. This means that organic food is becoming more and more popular in Iceland.
It turns out it is not that difficult to produce organic food in Iceland. As the Icelandic climate is very harsh, pests and insects have a hard time surviving. Therefore, the products that you get from the Icelandic farms are pesticide-free in most cases.
With geothermal energy, the country can produce quite a plethora of products. Thanks to the heating which is coming directly from the earth, Icelanders have developed a system of growing plants in numerous greenhouses. Many of the greenhouses can be found near Hafnarfjordur.
This is where the country’s famous bananas are grown. But that's not the only fruit raised here - there are greenhouses growing tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers as well. Although Icelandic supermarkets still sell products imported from outside the island, the number of fruits and vegetables imported is decreasing thanks to internal production.
It’s safe to say that the organic food produced in greenhouses is superior to that which is sold in supermarkets. However, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that it is fresh and healthy.
This protein-rich yogurt-like product used to be homemade with each farmstead having its own signature recipe. These days, it is purchased in huge amounts from convenience stores and supermarkets up and down the country. Organic and bio versions of skyr can also be found across Iceland!
Apart from organic products such as fruits and vegetables, you will also find many organic farms specializing in grains or meat. Some of them have on-site restaurants where you can eat dishes made with their organic products.
Among the most well-known in Iceland is the Fridheimar tomato farm. At Fridheimar, all tomatoes are grown in their greenhouses, which you can visit and enjoy, freshly picked. This is also a site where you can have dinner that features the farm’s own produce.
Modir Jord, located in Egilsstadir, is a very similar place, where you can try organic food that comes straight from the local farmers' bounty. Apart from the meals in the menu, they also offer a buffet made of organic products grown right on the farm.
Organic groceries in Iceland
You will find organic products in many Icelandic grocery stores and they are quite easy to spot. They are marked with a special label so that the customers can distinguish them from other non-bio products. All those, which are marked with the word LÍFRÆNT, come from organic farms and greenhouses around the country.
The first Icelandic grocery store opened in 2012 in Eyjafjordur, around 19 km from Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. There is also another farm called Holtsel that offers products sourced from local farmers. In this store, you will find all of the following:
Organic vegetables and cereals from Eymundur
Organic goat meet from Haafell farm in Borgarfjordur
Mutton from Brekkulaekur farm in Midfjordur
Shark meat from Snaefellsnes
As you can see, in one small store, both visitors and Icelanders have access to a wide variety of local and organic products. You will be able to find similar stores in many places in Iceland, but most of them are located in Reykjavík. Among the most common ones are Fru Lauga and Heilsuhusid.
Fru Lauga offers a wide selection of organic products, from olive oil and pasta to Icelandic produce such as dairy, meat, and eggs. Additionally, most of the fruits and vegetables found here originate from organic farms.
This organic store is always looking for good quality products to add to its selection, as pleasing their customers is number one. They are in contact with the local farmers and producers to make sure that the food they offer in-store is not only ecological but also healthy and tasty.
Heilsuhusid is a small store offering not only organic food but also beauty products. They also run online sales where you can enjoy special offers and discounts.
On their websites, customers can find recipes that make use of the healthy products that their store has on offer. Recipes for vegan pancakes or gluten-free desserts will help you get inspired and give you ideas for tasty snacks made of organic products.
Go Bio in Iceland!
Organic food in Iceland is distinguished by exceptional health and taste values, which are the result of a lack of artificial substances and fertilizers. Make sure you book your rental vehicle today, so you can easily hop in the car and visit these amazing farms and stores while on your trip!
Now you know that even when traveling in Iceland, you do not need to give up on healthy food choices. In fact, the Land of Fire and Ice promotes a wholesome diet, proven by the many opportunities to try local, organic products.