Is local organic food expensive in Dubai?
My Healthy DXB, 10th May 2015
Lots of local farms across Dubai and the rest of UAE are producing local, seasonal, organic food. It is produced close to you, with minimum cost for transport, storage, cooling and packaging. Does that give a price benefit for the consumer in Dubai?
We set out to find out. We bought a range of identical products for two meals – one 100% organic meal and one non-organic meal. For the organic meal, we got products from the local organic shop and for the same non-organic products from the local ‘normal’ supermarket, imported produce from around the world, as available in the supermarket on a random day.
You should also read: ‘Why eat local food.’
We bought a good range of products for a fresh, healthy home-cooked meal – there would be more than enough food for four adults. One chicken, vegetables for a hot dish and vegetables for a salad.
What did we find?
You might be surprised how comparable some of the prices are as listed below. If you choose the non-organic meal, it added up to 74,5dhs for the vegetables. If you add on the halloumi cheese and chicken, you would be looking at a total of 117dhs.
The 100 percent organic meal set us back 82dhs for the vegetables. Adding halloumi and chicken, it sums up to 146dhs.
That’s a stunning similarity in prices, with a difference in around 8dhs for a meal for 4 people, if you would opt for a vegetarian meal! No doubt the organic option becomes more expensive adding on the chicken making the local organic meal 22dhs more expensive than the conventional meal. But if you think about it – that is less than 6dhs per person you have to pay more for an all organic meal!
What is the fair price difference for a conventional meal versus a local seasonal organic meal? In that calculation, we find it worth considering local seasonal food comes to you fresh, straight from the farmer and gives you more nutrients for your dirham. When you buy local food, you send money back to the farmer and the UAE economy and put less of a strain on the environment for shipping of food. See below for a full overview of what we bought.
Ultimately, only you can decide what feels best for you and your budget.
See the complete breakdown of organic vs. conventional foods here. For the ease of comparison, the prices have been calibrated to the same weight.
|Food Item||Type||Price per kg (dhs)||Price per kg (item)||Savvy pick|
|2 aubergines||Conventional from Holland||26,50||11,12|
|3 beef tomatoes||Conventional from Hollan||26,50||13,00|
|4 mini cucumber||Local conventional||5,50||1,9||✓|
|2 red capsicum||Conventional from Holland||28,95||8,65||✓|
|2 sweet potato||Conventional from USA||29,95||26,00|
|1 red cabbage||Conventional from Holland||9,95||8,75||✓|
|1 bunch parsley||Conventional from Oman||1,25||✓|
|1 white onion||Local conventional||9,95||4||✓|
|1 fresh chicken||Conventional from Australia||30,00||✓|
Your body rely on you to get vital nutrients from the food you eat. Your body takes care of millions of biological processes every day. Each process depends on certain components and building blocks – which you can only get from fresh, nutritious food, prepared in the right way.
Processed and industrialized prepared food does not give your body what it needs. It is not real food – it cannot give your body fuel to the millions of vital processes to function optimally. Poor quality food does not feed your body well – it only fills your stomach!