Where to buy organic food in Saudi Arabia

If your budget permits, always aim to eat organic food. Many people think there’s nothing wrong with eating strawberries grown in California and then shipped to Riyadh. But several studies have shown that foods laden with pesticides are not as nutritious. Add to that the transport costs of your food being flown over 2000miles to get to you, whilst being preserved with added chemicals, you can see why I will always suggest LOCAL organic over American imported foods. At the end of the day, people will do what is best for their family. Inshallah there will be many more organic farmers in Saudi over the coming years, so more people can benefit.

For now, we have to stick to what is available in the market. Here is the complete list of organic food outlets in Saudi Arabia. Please click here for detailed information on the organic food home delivery service available in Riyadh.

SHARE and PRINT OUT! I want everyone to be healthy, and even if you can only switch one food to locally grown organic, then you will benefit both yourself and your local community. As Saudis, we should aim to propel our country forwards and we can only do this through eating sustainably and supporting our local farmers as much as possible. King Abdullah already has so many incentives for us to start farming and yet young people rarely give this a thought. I wish I could explain to these people just how being lazy today means their food budgets could be 75% of their incomes in the future. Since I can’t, May Allah guide them and provide them with many opportunities.

Furthermore, I want to add some information about the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.” These are the twelve foods most commonly contaminated with pesticides and the fifteen least contaminated foods. The research was carried out by EWG, which is a group based in USA.

Despite the research saying corn is in the clean fifteen, I would avoid all non-organic corn since it will have been tainted with the GMO seeds.

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Another piece of advice, always eat in season. Stop eating strawberries in winter as it is a summer fruit. Sometimes, many of the larger supermarkets have so many imported foods, you are confused about what is seasonal. In this case, always go to the local vegetable stores to see what is available to give you an idea.

Much of the above information will fall on deaf ears, but if I manage to convince one person to switch one food from non organic to organic, I will be extremely joyful. So share, print and spread the message.

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46 responses to “Where to buy organic food in Saudi Arabia

  1. Pingback: Organic Food in Saudi Arabia: Dr. Shahwan’s Organic Home Delivery Service | Desert Enlightenment·

  2. Shukran for the info. Do u think the strawberries from Egypt are as bad? They are so yummy and cheap!

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for visiting.🙂

      Egyptian strawberries are so sweet, I agree with you there! He Egyptians are so lucky to have the Nile to irrigate all their crops.

      Sometimes, you can find organic Egyptian strawberries. Look out for it, because it flies off the shelf.

  3. Thaaaaank yooou so much!!!!! I needed that list!!!!
    I’m getting so sick from all the chemicals we put inside our bodies, even though I don’t eat fast food and try so hard to quit the process food.. I still feel horrible every time I eat veggies or fruits that I know is full of toxins!!! I hope from all my heart that in the upcoming future organic food will me most of what we consume.

    • Hi Lama,

      It’s great that you can tell the difference between organic and non organic.

      Inshallah, the future will mean that we go back to eating organic foods again. But, this can only happen if consumers keep demanding organic produce. So keep demanding and there will be more choice for everyone in Saudi Arabia and worldwide.🙂

      All the best,
      Sarah

  4. I am from mountain area call Murree Hills 3 hours drive toward Kashmir from Islamabad Pakistan, and we grow 100% organic food no chemical and pesticides,and we grow very high quality fruit and vegetable,meat and dairy products i am interested to supply to Saudi Arabia,anybody can help me to market my products or provide me list of the organic food buyers,i will appreciate your help and support for helping others Health and wellbeing.
    Mohammad Taj Satti
    (satti316@yahoo.com)

    • Hi,

      Saudi Arabia does NOT import organic food outside of Europe or USA. Also, Saudis prefer locally produced goods to imported organic.

      Although admirable, your efforts will be wasted here. I would suggest concentrating on getting your products to the Pakistani market, especially cities such as Lahore or Karachi, where there is a strong demand for such goods. Furthermore, the indian city of Mumbai is experiencing a strong demand for organic produce. Aside from being closer to Pakistan, these cities will mean less pollution will be created from transporting the food.

      All the best,

      Sarah

      • This is really sad. I would rather support small companies from countries like Pakistan–and would trust their food much more–than the over-marketed Western “organic” brands.

        On a different note, thank you for these posts! Do you know where I can purchase home-delivery organic FRUITS in Riyadh? I am thinking of returning to raw veganism, but it is SO hard in Saudi being a woman who can’t drive herself for her weekly groceries!

  5. I am shocked about the clean vs dirty list. The veggie and fruits i like the most are all on the dirty list😦 Does it not help at all that I wash them thoroughly and peel everything? Sorry if this question seems ignorant, I am just trying to learn this stuff🙂

    • Hi Layla,

      Please don’t call yourself ignorant, we all discover new things everyday.🙂

      Yes, if you wash and peel the vegetables, you will ingest less of the pesticides. There are also vegetable soaking solutions you can buy that say they neutralise the pesticides, I’m not sure how truthful their claim is though.

      You can still eat your favourite foods on the “dirty list,” by purchasing organic or growing it yourself. While a peach tree might take a lot of work, things like kale and spinach are very easy and need little maintenance to grow, even inside your home in a container by a window.🙂

      • Hi Sarah,

        Thanks so much for this list!!🙂 It’s the first time I visit your blog and I surely will be following it from now on.

        Could you share with us how we can grow kale and spinach in a container as you mentioned to Layla above?

        Thanks again!
        Farah

      • Hi there,

        Thank you so much for visiting!🙂

        I will publish the post on how to grow kale and spinach in containers in August. September is the earliest you can start growing these greens so it will give you a month to prepare. I hope this is ok. In the meantime, if you have to buy seeds, I would suggest buying Dinosaur Kale, otherwise known as Tuscan Kale, because they are heat tolerant compared to many of the other varieties. For a beginner, I would avoid curly leaf kale because it requires more maintenance and a little more experience. For spinach seeds, choose any variety that you like.s

        I hope this helps and please check back in August for the post.

        Best,

        Sarah

  6. Thanks a lot for this valuable information. I changed my diet couple of months ago, and I started to think more about the food I eat. Organic food is what I try to eat for the most time. When I was in the US, I could easily identify the organic vegetables, fruits, seeds and all sorts of food. But I have problem with organic food, since the moment I came back to Saudi. I can’t wait for more info and advices about this topic. Wish you all the best.

    • Hi Mansour,

      Congratulations on changing your diet! Inshallah you have great health forever more with this change! In Saudi Arabia, there’s a supply and demand issue. Hopefully you will notice the major increase in supply over the coming months as more farmers in Saudi are switching to organic practises, along with more supermarkets increasing their supply of organic produce.

      All saudi grown organic produce will have a Saudi Organic Farming Association label on them, along with either a GIZ or USDA organic label. When buying non-organic produce, produce from Iran, Oman, Turkey, Syria, Egypt are the best. They use minimal pesticides (or even no chemical pesticides in the case of Iran) compared to American imports.

      Good luck and, again, it’s absolutely wonderful again that you’ve changed your diet!

      Best,

      Sarah

  7. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for posting the information. Very useful. I have been to all the organic stores in Riyadh as well, and I believe you should write about Carrefour at exit 9 (Granada Mall). They have:
    – fresh produce from two companies: BioMass (Lebanese) and Almaverde (Italian). The selection varies, but if you are lucky you can get organic potatoes, garlic, onions, eggplant, zuchini, kiwi, lemons, plums, pears, apples, etc. The best time to go is on Friday morning (before the prayer). As well, they carry a selection of Carrefour BIO products, such as organic eggs (and sometimes free range eggs), butter, etc. As well, they are the only place where you can buy organic goat yogurt and they have a good selection of Rachel’s organic yogurts (cow’s milk). In their “dry food section”, you can find products from Biona Organic, Carrefour BIO, and some others.
    Hope this is helpful,
    Anna,

  8. Hi Sarah,

    Your blog is so nice and informative! Thanks!

    where do we find
    1. Epsom salt/baking soda in bulk for personal use?
    2. Raw milk (camel/ cow/ goat) that is from hygienic source? What about butter/ ghee etc.
    3. A place where we can buy things like essential oils, shea butter, cold pressed castor oil…etc
    4. Shops where we can find supplements like olive leaf extract (other than GNC)…
    5.chemical free perfumes
    6.sustainable low mercury fresh fish
    7. Live kefir grains

    I am very inspired to start eating organic produce because of you, but the prices are really high! Are there cheaper organic produce sources?I really want to start eating organic foods…but for a family it is really hard…
    Thank you so much..

    • Hi Ragaa,

      Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

      1) Baking Soda – Next to Mama Nora juice bar, there is a bulk buy baking supply store where you can baking soda in large amounts. Otherwise, Tamimi is your best option.
      24.69245,46.701676

      Epsom salt in bulk is difficult since people use it to make drugs. You can find small 20g packets of Epsom salt in pharmacies next to large hospitals. Otherwise, order online through amazon and deliver it to a workplace address.

      2) Raw milk, butter, ghee etc are technically forbidden from being sold openly in stores. You would have to raise an animal yourself or get in touch with a farmer who can give these to you. I’m sorry I don’t know of any local animal farmers.

      3) Essential oils, Shea butter and cold pressed castor oils are cheaper to buy online and get delivered to Riyadh. Unfortunately demand isn’t high enough to warrant a store for these products. Yibreen’s Spa sells some essential oils so do call them to see if they have something you want.

      4) Sorry, I am not sure of any good supplement stores.
      5) Sorry, I do not know of any chemical free perfume stores.
      6) Sorry, I do not know of any sustainable fish stores.
      7) Sorry, I am not sure where you can buy live kefir grains.

      It’s great that you want to start eating organic produce, and completely agree that it can be very expensive for a family. I would suggest growing organic food yourself, easy things like greens, zucchini etc, things that you use a lot of, and take it from there. !00% organic diet will be difficult as the produce isn’t there all year round. But little changes here and there can help you notice a big difference in your life.

      Good luck!

  9. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for your blog and for the effort you put into the project to keep your followers informed. I’m still trying to find my organic egg supply. I didn’t have luck this week at Watania, but I was happy to find at Danube the organic rice milk I drink back in the States.

    Right now, my most important question is whether you know of a good private caterer here in Riyadh who is both creative and healthful in their cooking– and reliable, of course. I’m in need of an outside caterer to help me with some business entertaining at my home. I haven’t found anyone yet and the hotel caterers don’t inspire me much.

    Any recommendations?

    Many Thanks,
    MT
    Al Yamama 2

    • Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your comment. I have only used Appetite Kitchen catering and they were very reliable and followed the instructions we gave them.

      I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful here. Our usual entertaining catering is done through our in house staff so we have very little using outside caterers.

      Best,
      Sarah

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  11. السلام عليكمHi sara , Hi everybody …your comments helped me a lot
    i would like to show you to an organic cow milk (laban) sold by the farmer alswear i meet him my self you may find him while sailing
    his place is located at Souq Alshmal north side of Riyadh on king fahed road at almoraj area its the ordinary vegetables and fruit wide area shops , there is an organic Saudi farmers day on every Saturday every week , I vested them last week it was not that much but 4 or 5 sealer including alsqear the seller of organic cow milk which i was looking for and( zabady) Yogurt plus goat butter, all fresh and dated , certified with Saudi A.G organic signed at good prices
    you need to ask to find him, at the beginning of the vegetable selling area ,,,we need more cooperation’s to get more of gods food in this cements jungle.
    great regards toward you SARA.

  12. Sooo sorry to hear that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ‘Saudi Arabia does NOT import organic food outside of Europe or USA’… SUCH a SHAME!!!
    If its not an issue, can I ask what is the reason for this???
    Personally, I think importing products from this area would be a great benefit to both countries/parties concerned.
    Sorry, Im from the UK originally and grow most of my own in my back garden or an allotment but whilst I’m living here in Saudi. I am shocked at the awful false plastic toy like fruit I find here. I do like to support local produce wherever I go so always try to buy local as possible.
    Hope the local farmers can get a move on and catch up so that we can enjoy the nicer things in life such as locally grown strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and many other fruit and vegetables.

    • There have been too many cases of falsified organic labeling and farming practices that doesn’t meet organic standards.

  13. Estella you can purchase Bragg’s ACV from the organic stores on Al-Arouba St. in Riyadh. We visit the ones Sarah has talked about in her post but there is a new one called something silly like “DIet Diet” across the street from Organic Nutrition Center and this is where we found Bragg ACV 20sr. Also visit FB group Saudi Swap Shop and a lady is selling it out of her home 30sr.

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  24. Hi, you should include Nature’s Food غذاء الطبيعة in eastern Saudi Arabia. It is one of the biggest organic stores in the country.

  25. Hey Sarah,

    Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve put in this blog. As one of many, I can say that we all have gotten something out of it. Oh, and do you by any chance know where Pink Himalayan Salt can be found in Saudi/Bahrain?

    Thanks

    • Hi Hani,

      Thank you very much for your very kind comment. Pink Himalayan Salt is available at Manual, Tamimi, Lulu and Carrefour in Saudi Arabia. In Bahrain, it’s available at the Organic Foods and Cafe at Seef Mall.

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

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