Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Food availability might be limited in airports and on airplanes, so how can you eat soy-free in these places? We’ve previously discussed some tips for getting an in-flight meal that you can eat, but what about food outside of the meal? Whether you are flying halfway around the world or just taking a quick hop to the next city, safely navigating food in the airport and on your flight can help ensure smooth, enjoyable travel.
Bringing your own food is the best way to ensure that there is food that you can safely eat in the airport and on your flight since it removes the guesswork from getting food while traveling. A grocery store will have many more soy-free options than the airport, so even when you are away from home it can be helpful to stop and pick up some food at the grocery store before you get to the airport. Ashley and I frequently visit grocery stores when we travel for this very reason! (also, a grocery store helps us get a sense for the prevalence of soy in that particular country/region.)
There are two things you need to consider when you bring your own food on a flight. The first is security: make sure that you bring food that is acceptable to pass through security. This shouldn’t be too limiting as there are tons of possibilities from larabars to fresh fruit or sandwiches that are allowed through the security checkpoint. In the US, avoid gels and liquids (including things like peanut butter) and you should be good to go. (Another pro-tip: bring an empty water bottle and fill it up behind security so you don’t need to pay for overpriced airport water!) In addition to security, you need to consider customs when flying internationally. Customs in many countries prohibit bringing certain foods into the country most commonly to control disease. You might not eat all the food that you brought before arriving at your destination, so before you fly internationally, be sure to check the customs regulations where you will be traveling to make sure the food you bring will be allowed into the country.
What if you can’t bring your own food? Since airports usually offer a large variety of food, it actually isn’t too difficult to find soy-free options. If you are eating at a restaurant in the airport, you can ask about food just like when you eat out normally, or find a fast food restaurant where you already know what to order. If you are looking for pre-packaged food, airports are usually pretty good about offering fresh foods (think: fruit cups) that are very likely to be soy-free. If they don’t offer fresh foods, they also likely have a wide range of snacks (like a convenience store) where you can probably find something to eat. As always, read the ingredient list before committing to a particular snack.
The last option for food is to buy it during the flight, but don’t count on having a soy-free option. In-flight snacks are inherently limited and it is not at all guaranteed that you’ll be able to find something soy-free (even on an international flight). If you want something to eat during the flight we recommend that you purchase it ahead of time instead of planning to buy food on the plane.
Even though food options can feel limited, airports and airplanes don’t need to be challenging food situations. With a bit of prep and research ahead of time, food can be an easy part of traveling!