By Khadiza Begum
Selected images courtesy of iStock by Getty Images & Torba Farmers Market
In recent years there has been expanding consumer interest in where our food comes from, how it is produced and what is actually in the food we enjoy every day. By definition, organic foods should be farmed without the use of artificial chemicals fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms and, ideally, their producers and farmers should have achieved organic certification from the relevant authorities, working to their standards with regards to such issues as soil condition, animal feeds and methods of processing. And due to a growing awareness of the benefits of organic food, organic producers are getting more attention from the consumers of Qatar.
While organic produce in Qatar is a generally a little more expensive compared to mass-produced fruits and vegetables, there has still been a steady increase in demand as a growing number of both Qataris and expatriates prefer to add some organic foods to their daily menu. This is especially true of younger people who have found that chefs from their favourite local hotels and restaurants in Qatar now often prefer to use the finest organic ingredients in their menu and food preparation. The most widely purchased organic foods are vegetables, fruits, grains, meat and dairy products. And many processed organic products are now also available including breakfast cereals, cookies and cakes etc.
So, for all of you organic food lovers out there, here is our round up for the best organic food shops and services in Qatar.
By creating a whole community around local food, Torba Market promotes and encourages a livelihood for local farmers and enhances food knowledge and culture throughout Qatar. It is an open-air, weekly event that happens every Thursday and Friday (October to February) at the Qatar Foundation.
Location: Qatar Foundation
Times: Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm and Friday from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, resuming at 2 pm until 5 pm.
Contact: +974 31008110
Renowned French retail chain Monoprix has a wide range of organic, gluten-free products in addition to one of the biggest selections of fresh produce on the planet! Doha Festival City's Monoprix is the largest in the world and has an extensive range of locally known brands including the widest range of organic, fresh items from local farmers.
Location: Twin Palm Tower, West Bay (4414 6642)
Doha festival city (44078300/44078347)
Times: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Mega Mart is a great place to source your healthy vegetables. They have a range of organic and gluten-free products, delicious cereals and much more.
Location: The Centre, Salwa Road (4444 0019), Center Point (Barwa village)
Times: Sun-Thu 8am-11pm; Fri 8am-11.30am, 12.30pm-11pm.
You may already be familiar with the extensive line of fresh fruit and vegetables available at Carrefour but they also carry a wide variety of organic and health food ranges from vegetables to dried fruits.
These markets located at the Al Mazrouah Yard in Umm Salal, Al Khor and Al Wakrah aim to introduce locally produced vegetables, poultry and fresh organic produce straight from Qatar’s farms to your plate.
Location: Al Khor and Al-Dhakira Yard and Al Wakrah.
Times: Open to customers thrice a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – from 7am until 5pm.
Google map link: Mazrourah Yard Markets
Spinney's aim to make healthy living an easy choice for their customers. They have two branches in Doha, one at ‘The Mall’ and another in The Pearl - Medina Centrale District, serving Pearl residents with quick and convenient local shopping as well as delivery to the surrounding buildings. Their ‘healthy corner’ in the store provides all manner of healthy goodies such as Bio, Organic, Gluten Free, and Natural products.
Location: Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Qatar and Mall, D Ring Road (4467 1666).
Timing: Open daily 8am-11pm
Mustafawi is committed to bringing to your table the finest well-selected vegetables grown without preservatives and pesticides. A mixed box (approximately seven to eight kilo) costs around QR 250 and you can also buy veg according to your own choice per kilo at a cost of QR 40. They also have a free home delivery service.
Location: Umm Ammad, Jaree al saai, Al Shamal Road, Exit 24, Farm 1234.
Contact: +974 3027-5865 / www.mustafawiorganicvegetable.com
What is clear is that consumers in Qatar can now obtain organic foods that have been produced as nature intended through sustainable farming processes that focus where possible on good soil and animal welfare.
Have you ever checked out the stores listed above to add fresh and healthy items to your table? And if you know more stores that are not included in the list, let us know in the comment section.
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