Soy-Free in the Grocery Store in China

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

A few weeks ago I was in China and I did something a little strange: I went looking for soy in the grocery store.

China is probably one of the last places you would think to look for soy-free food, so I wasn't sure what I was going to find when it came to food ingredients.

It is possible to eat soy-free in China! - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

It is possible to eat soy-free in China! - IMAGE VIA PEXELS

Surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly), the Chinese grocery store experience was much the same as other grocery stores around the world. Using Google Translate I found that many prepackaged snacks contained soy, but I also found many things that were soy-free. There were nuts and dried fruit and even things like potato chips that didn't contain soy. In the cooking aisle there was a lot of soybean oil being sold, but other varieties were also easy to find. 

Walking through the grocery store in China helped clarify that while soy is indeed quite common there, it isn't in every bite. There are certainly foods that are soy-free. Much like creating a soy-free visit to Japan, a trip to China is possible even with a soy intolerance or allergy. It would be surprisingly simple to pick up soy-free food at the grocery store and cook meals yourself.

We won't deny that eating in China is difficult. The language barrier, unknown food at restaurants, and prevalence of soy make it hard to be confident that soy-free is a true option. But the grocery store selection contains soy-free food, meaning at a minimum it is possible to eat soy-free and experience some of China!