Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy
Traveling to a new place can be challenging when it comes to eating with a food intolerance and allergy. Often it is difficult to determine how prevalent something like soy will be before you visit, so you risk end up being stuck with limited options once you get there. For us, traveling always has a component of creativity and problem solving as we identify soy-free things to eat.
We recently travelled to Australia! The trip was great and the food was delicious. When we travel, we always consider the five places to find soy. Here's what we found when it comes to soy in Australian food:
Soy was present in some bread, but not nearly as much as the US or UK. With relative ease we were able to find both fresh and prepackaged bread. As a result, we were pretty confident at restaurants and we ate pizza and the pre-dinner table bread without trepidation.
Soy lecithin was everywhere. Unfortunately, soy lecithin was extremely common in a variety of foods in Australia. Any creams that we could find (think: Oreos) contained soy, as did almost all of the chocolate.
At times it was difficult to determine if a product contained soybean oil. While soy was identified as an allergen on product packaging, soybean oil tended to be harder to identify. Frequently, product packages would list "vegetable oil" on the ingredient list without specifying the specific type of oil. Canola, palm, and sunflower oils were commonly used in addition to soybean oil, so we couldn't be certain that "vegetable oil" on the ingredient list contained soy, but we also couldn't rule out the use of soy. While checking in the grocery store, we also found many vegetable oil blends that contained soybean oil combined with other types of oil. We avoided everything with "vegetable oil" as an ingredient (we just made sure to check the ingredient list of everything we purchased), and it was the most difficult part of identifying soy in Australia.
Overall, we found a lot of freshly-made food in Australia, which made it pretty easy to eat soy-free. We didn't have a problem eating bread or pizza at restaurants and found that much of the food we encountered was made from scratch. We'd both go back to Australia in a heartbeat and part of the reason was the ease of avoiding soy. If you ever find yourself down under, enjoy the soy-free food!