Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

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This blog post previously contained an outdated video about a supplier.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.