It’s no secret that I have a past that included secret, middle of the night meals at Taco Bell. In 1996, I poked fun at them, posting a spoof review of the chain for April Fools day. Still, I haven’t been for years, and when I was on a road trip a few months ago, I stopped and got a “burrito”. I didn’t expect it to be good, but was, in a word, awful. I couldn’t eat it. The meat didn’t taste like meat anymore, and the “beans” were drenched in salt. Fast forward to today.
An Alabama law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef” in its products.
The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as “beef,” according to the legal complaint.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in the Central District of California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles.
Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell’s “meat mixture” tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef.
It gets worse. From one of my favorite websites, Gizmodo, (4/11 – link is broken now)
Taco Bell “beef” pseudo-Mexican delicacies are not made with USDA ground beef. They use a gross thing called “Taco Meat Filling” as shown on their big container’s labels—which customers can’t see. The list of ingredients is gruesome:
Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is 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, and potassium lactate.
…what Taco Bell claims is “beef” in their commercials is just the aforementioned processed clustermass of disgust. It seems that they have a very good point.
The fact is that the containers in which the taco meatmud arrives to their establishments is labeled as “taco meat filling,” which is exactly how it should be labeled in all advertising and packaging according to the USDA. Of course, the All-New Double Decker with Two Times More Taco Meat Filling will not sound very good on TV.