Soy in Canada

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

Ashley and I recently took a trip to Canada. We know that the prevalence of soy in food changes around the world; we’ve seen relatively little amounts of soy in European food, and almost all bread in the UK contains soy. Where does Canada stack up?

 IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

Given its proximity to the US, we expected food in Canada to contain a similar amount of soy as food in the US (and we expected soy to be used in similar places). For example, we expected that most sandwich bread in Canada would contain soy and that almost all chocolate would contain soy lecithin. One thing that we weren't sure about was the prevalence of canola oil, since canola oil was developed in Canada and therefore might be a more common oil to use than the US-standard soybean oil.

As we always do when trying to determine what foreign food is likely to contain soy, when we arrived in Canada we visited a grocery store. In the grocery store, we checked the five places to avoid soy (bread, butter, oil, soy products, and soy lecithin) and found that food ingredients were well labeled and that our guess about Canadian food was pretty accurate. All of the prepackaged bread contained soybean oil and all of the chocolate contained soy lecithin. To us, it did not seem like canola oil was any more prevalent than in the US. Cookies, crackers, and other processed treats were very likely to use soybean oil. However, just like in the US, we were able to find some soy-free things to snack on (including some biscuit cookies that we really enjoyed).

 IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

We used our new found knowledge of the Canadian food landscape to inform our choices when eating out. Just as we do in the US, we chose restaurants where Ashley could be sure to find something that is soy-free. We tried to choose meals that would be made from scratch and avoided foods we knew would contain soy (e.g., choosing a desert crepe without chocolate since it likely contained soy lecithin), and we were successful!

Our trip to Canada was a success from a food standpoint. We ate delicious food without too much worry about eating soy. One last thing to mention: Canada has a great allergy website that provides Canada-specific information about the likelihood of finding different allergies and common food sources. This is a great resource to use when considering eating allergen-free in Canada (or even eating in general-they go as far as listing foods that might contain soy!). Happy Canadian travels!