Whole Story

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The Tender Story of Icelandic Lamb

Icelandic lamb is a wonderfully flavorful, exceptionally lean meat from animals raised with no antibiotics, ever and no added hormones. Pesticides and herbicides are seldom used in Iceland where the climate naturally protects the land. All in all, Icelandic lambs are amazingly robust and live in an idyllic, geographically isolated country' whose strict agriculture regulations protect the integrity of the lamb you are buying.


This blog post previously contained an outdated video about a supplier. We have removed the video to prevent confusion. We have always believed in and fought for the improvement of welfare for farm animals industry-wide, and all the pork, beef, chicken and turkey in our fresh meat cases comes from producers who have achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating system.


 In early fall, farmers mount spirited, pony-sized Icelandic horses and ride high into the mountains to collect their lambs. Although the lambs wear tiny identifying markers, their owners often recognize them by sight—even from afar. This annual event, called réttir, culminates in a celebration with singing, dancing and traditional delicacies such as lamb soup. But since roundup only happens once a year, fresh Icelandic lamb is, alas, only available from September through early December. Iceland has always been a leader in sustainability, and remains one of the purest environments in the world. There's little pollution. And farming is conducted in a way that preserves the land for future use, incorporating aspects of social responsibility. Through a special arrangement with Iceland, this superb lamb is exclusive to Whole Foods Market. We couldn't be prouder, or more delighted, to offer it to our customers. Note: Icelandic Lamb is not available in all of our stores. Check with your local store for availability, and you should find it in our stores in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, North Atlantic, Florida, South, Southwest, Southern Pacific, Pacific Northwest and a few stores in the Midwest.

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117 comments

Comments

joe says …

Do you currently have rack of lamb for sale at your Santa Barbara store?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JOE - Since our vendors vary between locations, I would suggest reaching out to the Santa Barbara store at 805-837-6959 for product questions and the butchers will be happy to help you!

Beth Wrege says …

I am looking for Icelandic lamb. near Tampa, FL.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BETH - Our meat vendors vary between locations so I would suggest reaching out to the store in Tampa where you plan to shop. You can reach the location on North Dale at 813.874.9435.

Donald R Fullington says …

do you or will you have Icelandic lamb (particularly the leg) for this Easter holiday?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DONALD - Our products will vary between locations so I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see what options they will have!

Inga Dora Sigfusdottir says …

Hi, we are having friends over on Saturday night. Can we get Icelandic lamb at your store upper west side New York? Best, Inga Dora

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@INGA - I would reach out to the store you plan to shop at directly as our products vary between locations.

lara says …

i am from iceland and i live in utah, usa do you know if the stores here in utah sell anything from iceland ? can you special order candy or food from iceland ? thank you please let me know.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LARA - Our products differ between stores. I would suggest reaching out to the exact store you plan to shop with in Utah to find out what they have in stock from Iceland. You can find a store list at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.

Dorothyellison says …

The best in the world lamb,i have been in many places and here is the best lamb,thank you. Sincerely Dorothy

Tom green says …

Can you please inform me when icelandic lamb is available

Ása Maria says …

There is nothing better than Icelandic Lamb. Those of you that like lamb go to Whole Foods for the Icelandic Lamb. I promise you will love it.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TOM - It should be in your store about now but our products can vary between locations. Check with your local store to find out if they currently have it in stock!

thora says …

I have been through your recipe bank and at a quick glance can not see that you have any Icelandic recipies. The meat from Icelandic sheep has a distinctive taste that in my opinion doesnt always suit f.ex. mediterrenian cooking methods. I can give you a recipie for basic lamb meat stew (the one you see in the video on your website) if you like :)

steven bunker says …

when does islandic lamb arrive at the Marietta, GA market?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@STEVEN - Our products vary between stores. Check with your local store to see when they expect to have this in stock.

Oli says …

Hi What is the price for 1pound of leg of lamb

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@OLI - Our prices differ between stores so check with your local store to see what their price/pound is right now.

A. Desai says …

Is the lamb still available? I tried a sample in late Sept at a store in Boston, MA

Kathryn says …

I'm going to Colorado in November how can I find out which stores carry the Icelandic lamb

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@A & @Kathryn - Our products differ between locations. Call the store you plan to shop with to see what they have in stock!

sharon adler says …

We have now gotten this lamb several times from Whole Foods and each time it seems to be more and more delicious, flavorful. I am writing because I hope Whole Foods will continue to see this wonderful option.

Donna says …

Just purchased and cooked Icelandic lamb for the first time and was AMAZED at how delicious it was. I have been cooking lamb all my life and have never tasted lamb that was this good. I will purchase more before the supply runs out. Can you please tell me if it has been previously frozen and defrosted when it is offered in the store?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DONNA - This will vary between stores. Check with your local store to answer this based on their specific vendor.

katrin webber says …

Enjoyed a smoked rack of lamb brought by family from home (Reykjavik), just wondering if Whole Foods carries the same product?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@KATRIN - Our products vary between stores. Check with your local store to find out what they have in stock!

cheftrim says …

I need prices on 3- Racks of Lamb(can they be frenched for me). Also need prices on 2 Tenderloins of beef 3.5 lbs avg. w/ silver skin off. Prices on 2 Baby Back ribs and finally { 2.5 lbs $ on Medium Stone Crabs(cracked) w/ mustard sauce to be picked up on 12/13/2013 at the Dale Mabry store in Tampa, Fl. Can you make this happen and at What Prices? Thanks, cheftrim

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CHEFTRIM - I would suggest reaching out directly to the Tampa store at 813.874.943 as our prices and options vary between locations.

Iman Simberg says …

I am looking for lamb that us not halal. Is the lamb sold at Whole Foods halal? I refuse to buy the lamb from Costco?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@IMAN - Our exact options differ between stores. Check with your local store to see exactly what types of lamb they have in stock!

Elizabeth says …

Do.you have lamb at this store? If so, what cuts and what prices? Is it frozen or fresh?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ELIZABETH - Our exact options will differ between our stores. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock and the will be able to let you know the price point and if it's ever been frozen.

Stephen says …

I have to agree Icelandic lamb is the best of all lamb. I see many people not being able to obtain Icelandic lamb locally from Whole Foods. Although buying from Whole Foods is by far the most convienent ways to buy quality Icelandic lamb a reasonable alternative way is to buy from local shepherds. Across the US there are shepherds raising quality Icelandic lamb which is available in the late fall. They sell their excess lambs to help sustain the rest of their herd.

Hjördís Gunnarsdottir says …

I'm an Icelander living in Myrtle Beach, SC and would like to be informed when you expect to be having Icelandic lamb available in your stor this fall. Thank you, Hjordis

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@HJORDIS - It will differ between stores when they will receive the lamb. Check with your local store to see when they expect to have this in stock.

Alex says …

I raise Icelandic sheep here in the states. Sounds like this the breed of choice for lamb. Though you choose to import more than use domestic. Why is that?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ALEX - We always try to support local farmers whenever possible as long as the product meets our quality standards. You can always reach out to your regional office to speak with someone about becoming a vendor! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company-info/information-potential-vendors

Clint says …

Having lived in Iceland 7 years,I can tell you all that Icelandic sheep are free ranging unless severe weather forces the farmers to bring them inside for protection from a storm.Other than that,they eat wild herbs,berries,grasses and live a free natural life.You know this when you taste it :) .

Paul A. Spiegel says …

Will Icelandic lamb be available in Northern California WF markets in 2014? When is it expected?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@PAUL - The exact timing will differ between stores. Check with your local store directly to see when they expect it!

Alexandra Smith says …

How does Icelandic lamb compare to American lamb? (I do not care for the lamb from Australia or New Zealand.) Thank you.

Chris Summers says …

I raise Dorper lamb near Comfort, TX. I am proud that Whole foods offers Certified Dorper Lamb in their Texas markets, and would hope that you would add a short story about Dorper lamb, an American-raised product. Although the Global Animal Partnership has only set standards for beef, pork and poultry, I know that my Lamb operation would meet their beef standard 5+. This is a story worth telling your customers who are interested in supporting local agriculture and in eating the finest lamb available.

M BREN says …

1. DO ANY OF YOUR MARKETS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY CARRY LAMB TENDERS ANYMORE? 2. DO ANY OF YOUR MARKETS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY CARRY ICELANCIC LAMB. IF ANSWER TO EITHER OR BOTH QUESTIONS IS YES, PLEASE LIST MARKETS

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@M BREN - Our product options will differ between stores, even in the LA metro area. I would suggest calling the store you plan to shop with directly to find out what lamb options they have in stock.

judy cozon says …

This is THE most delicious lamb period..... having grown up in UK and had access to Welsh and Scottish lamb reared on the mountain tops which is also very delicious this is without the very best lamb available in the USA period- the lamb usually sold in this country can only be described as what would only be sold as mutton in the UK......not even related! Icelandic lamb is truly delicious - Thank you thank you Whole Foods!

Margaret sims says …

Hello, I was at my local whole foods in Charlotte NC . An there lamb said it was from austrlia nit Icelandic, I'm confused which one is it. I'm looking for a high qulality grassfed an finished lamb. I hope someone can Clairify were it does come from.

Margaret says …

Correction for the lamb at whole foods Charlotte nc . It's from New Zealand not Icelandic. Is the New Zealand lamb grassfed N grass finished . Thanks

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARGARET - I would suggest checking with the Charlotte store directly at 980.213.2400. If the meat is labeled as "grass-fed" it must be grass finished as well. The store will be happy to let you know!

Lucy Baney says …

Do you have Icelandic Lamb in stock?

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