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Since we just spent a whole day traveling from Ohio to Germany to see my family over the holidays, airport food and airplane meals are on my mind. We took some inner-Chinese flights between Beijing and Chengdu when we were in China, and so we spent some time at airports there. Naturally, we ate.

Now, don’t get me wrong, airplane fare is just as mushy, bland and lukewarm as on American flights, but airport selections were stellar in terms of healthy options. There were KFC and the like, but there were both Chinese fast food and regular restaurants that offered non-fried vegetable dishes and the like.

Observe, for example, my lunch at Beijing airport in the inner-Chinese terminal at a fast food chain called Flavor Tang, which was adjacent to KFC:

That’s right, bok choy in a light broth and a melon cup.

I mean, can you *imagine* fast food like this at an American (or German, for that matter) airport? I was in awe. It was really tasty, too.

Then on our last day, we grabbed lunch at Beijing airport in the international terminal before flying home, and I went to a restaurant called “Acting Halal”, which, as you can guess, offers halal choices (again, how impressive is that?). Here’s what I got:

A mix of mushrooms, cucumbers and peppers stir-fried in a mildly spicy, light brown sauce. Again, very tasty, and wonderfully low calorie and balanced.

Bottom line? European and American airports sure could learn something from the options offered at Chinese airports. Hands down win for China there.