Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Having a food intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity can present some challenging questions when food is available but you don’t know the ingredients. Sometimes there are people you can ask (when eating at friend’s house, or eating at a restaurant), but sometimes there isn’t anyone to ask (like eating at a buffet). Here’s a tip to make eating away from home just a bit easier.
Ashley and I do a fair amount of “experiment shopping” in the grocery store. We look for new foods, we check the ingredient list of a variety of products, and we look for similarities between foods. This practice has led us to become pretty familiar with some soy-free foods, and we use this knowledge to our advantage.
Let’s use crackers as an example. Many crackers have soy, but from our experimental grocery shopping we know that both Jacob’s Cream Crackers and Carr’s crackers are soy-free. Now, Ashley can just look for the brand of crackers to know that they are safe to eat. She doesn’t need to ask about the ingredients anymore because we already did the research ahead of time. This knowledge simplifies the process of asking about food, but it also simplifies answering questions our friends and family have regarding what food she can eat. If a friend calls asking what type of crackers to buy, it is so much easier to say “any variety of Carr’s” than it is to coach them through reading the ingredients (and have them possibly make a mistake).
Our soy-free brand knowledge is also advantageous when eating with no one around to answer questions. Ashley and I were recently at an event that included some catered food. Normally in these buffet-type situations most of the food is off limits (since no ingredients are listed and it is difficult to find someone to ask), but since we know that fruit and cheese are okay (and delicious!), Ashley can usually manage to find something to eat. At our recent event, in addition to grabbing some cheese, we also checked the crackers. The crackers didn’t have any packaging or ingredients, but each individual cracker was imprinted with the brand name. As it turns out, both Jacob’s Cream Crackers and Carr’s crackers have their name on the cracker! When we checked the crackers, we found both Carr’s and Jacob’s. Since we knew that both brands are soy-free, Ashley was able to eat crackers along with cheese, even though no ingredient information was provided!
The simple fact of knowing a few soy-free brands can be a huge benefit to simplifying the process of eating away from home. We are huge believers in not feeling stuck by food intolerances, allergies, or sensitivities. By checking products in the grocery store, and remembering trends, you can develop a base knowledge that can help identify soy-free food, even if ingredients aren’t always available!