Tosh.0 Blog

Taco Bell's Got Beef

Posted by: Mike Pomranz | January 25, 2011 at 1:00PM

Beef as in a grudge with an Alabama law firm that filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the "beef" Taco Bell puts into their ever-expanding menu items can't be called "beef" at all.

As the LA Times points out, "just 35 percent of the taco filling was a solid, and just 15 percent overall was protein, said [an] attorney" associated with the case.  The firm claims this doesn't confirm to the USDA definition of beef.

Technically, on the packaging it's shipped in (obtained by Gizmodo), it's called "Taco Meat Filling."  But that's not stated on the menu.

Gizmodo broke down all of the ingredients that follow "beef" on the "meat filling's" list:

"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."

Alright, sure.  But did anyone ever really walk into a Taco Bell and order anything on the menu expecting they were getting 100% grade A meat?  Just be happy they ground it up enough that you can't taste the tendons or get a bone lodged in your throat.

35% beef per taco sounds dead-on to me.  That explains why you have to eat at least three of them before you feel like you've eaten 100% of anything.

And why this focus on beef?  I'm far more suspect of what Taco Bell tries to pass off as "steak."  Or why not a class-action suit from Mexicans for what Taco Bell tries to pass off as a Chalupa?

Let's cut Taco Bell some slack.  35% cut beef is still probably better than most Mexican cocaine shipments and without any of the violence.  To me, that's progress.