Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taco Bell: Where's The Beef?

What amazes me most is that anyone actually assumed that Taco Bell uses beef in its lousy, low-end fast food... This is national news? I'm all for a good Wendy's fries, Long John Silver's hush puppy or the occasional Whopper, but Taco Bell... mercy, that joint is like licking the seats of the New York subway. It sorta looks like food, tastes like packing materials and leaves your intestines desperate for, uh, reapportionment a week on.

The controversy surrounds Bell's "Taco Meat Filling," which is only 36% beef. The rest (breathe deep): water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, potassium lactate.
Mm, mm good! That's a grand lot of tasteless fibers, industrial additives, "flavoring" and coloring. As a result, an Alabama law firm is suing TB for false advertising, which the USDA supports—by definition. It says beef has got to be "chopped fresh and/or frozen beef, shall not contain more than 30% fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders." Ew.

Taco Bell is slinging the mud right back, claiming, "We buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket, like Tyson Foods. We start with 100% USDA-inspected beef. We simmer it in our proprietary seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture." Wait, isn't that the fundamental issue here?

Seems to me this is one of those instances where you quietly tuck your tail twixt your legs and hastily change the name of the shit to "Aunt Nellie's Taco Beef Medley" or something.