Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Close reading Taco Bell

Here is the Statement Regarding Class Action Lawsuit, from Greg Creed, President and Chief Concept Officer of Taco Bell:

At Taco Bell, we buy our beef from the same trusted brands you find in the supermarket, like Tyson Foods. We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Then we simmer it in our proprietary blend of seasonings and spices to give our seasoned beef its signature Taco Bell taste and texture. We are proud of the quality of our beef and identify all the seasoning and spice ingredients on our website. Unfortunately, the lawyers in this case elected to sue first and ask questions later — and got their “facts” absolutely wrong. We plan to take legal action for the false statements being made about our food.
And here is the ingredient statement for Seasoned Ground Beef, as published on Taco Bell’s website:
Beef, Water, Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats (Wheat), Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Spices, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent), Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Yeast, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor], Salt, Sodium Phosphates. CONTAINS SOYBEAN, WHEAT
Two things strike me: the verb to start (“We start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef”) and the identification of oats and soy as seasoning.

Further reading
A beef over “beef” content of Taco Bell tacos fuels this class-action suit (Los Angeles Times)

[This post contains no false statements about Taco Bell’s food.]

comments: 5

Pete said...

I heard a story about that last night on NPR. I'm amused that Taco Bell insists that the product is just "beef and seasonings" - funny, but I've never considered soybeans or oatmeal to be particularly tasty. But they're great fillers, which of course the company doesn't want to admit.

Unknown said...

And, if you add up all the euphemisms in there for "corn syrup", it likely outweighs the "beef".

Cocoa powder???

My sister's name for Taco Bell is "Taco Hell"

So glad I stopped eating meat (or "beef", quotes necessary) many moons ago.

normann said...

I can remember back in the 90s, a body-builder and gym owner friend of mine ate Taco Bell food in the off-season. And truth to tell, if you picked the right items, you got fresh vegetables and other fresh ingredients. So I always ate at Taco Bell while on the road (i.e. very rarely). Hamburger meat is pretty cheap as it is. Adding soy and oatmeal extenders is just greed. Corn syrup?

BTW, whenever I get a taste for taco meat, I make my own: ground beef, onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cloves...notice, no oatmeal or soy extenders.

I skip the tortillas, though.

Elaine said...

Isn't that the way you make YOUR taco filling? My lecithin patch hasn't been producing well this year, but the maltodextrin bushes have more than made up for that.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. The only Taco Bell item I’ve eaten in recent years is the seven-layer burrito (rice and beans). It’s pretty good road food, but packing a picnic lunch is much better.