I’ll never forget my fifth birthday because it was quite possibly my best birthday as a child (ten was pretty good too, but as my father was sure to remind me back then, I was in “double digits” so I don’t include it). What made my fifth birthday SO special is that I got to pick my birthday dinner from whatever restaurant I wanted. I picked Taco Bell. I got two hard tacos with mild sauce and my cinnamon sticks. It was awesome.
Since then I’ve been a major supporter of the trashy, fake Mexican food better known as Taco Bell. I know it’s not the healthiest thing but really, when have I ever been the “counting calories” and “healthy lifestyle” type anyway? About a week or so ago, Veronika and I met up for a dinner date (yes, we’re corny like that and quit judging us) and while eating she shared, “Did you know Taco Bell’s meat is only 35% actual meat!? Aaand, get this. It’s rated grade F!!! What!? My professor told us in class yesterday.” She and I both shared an incredulous, hearty laugh because we both knew and understood that despite these disgusting facts, we were still going to be loyal to the brand. Darn shame.
Over the next few days, I heard a few people talking about it, read a few tweets about it, but overall nothing too major. Today out of curiosity I researched it and discovered that Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, an Alabama-based law firm, is actually suing Taco Bell over this. The suit is being popularly referred to as “Where’s The Beef?” Their beef with Taco Bell (lol pun intended hahaha) is that “real beef” must be 70% beef with 30% fat at the BARE MINIMUM. The firm didn’t reveal how they arrived at their conclusion, only saying that Taco Bell’s beef contains less than 35% beef-the other 65% is comprised of binders, extenders and fillers. With numbers like that, it is quite evident a vegetarian could technically eat it and still be considered vegetarian, lol (I’m really cracking myself up today, but I digress).
As of Sunday, Taco Bell is considering countersuing. Their point? That their beef is actually 88% USDA-quality beef and that this lawfirm is slandering their name! They published a huge advertisement this past Sunday in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today (among others) that spells out the content of their meat mixture. In addition, Taco Bell’s president, Greg Creed, uploaded a video on YouTube educating consumers about what all is included in the meat. Among the ingredients Creed mentioned includes:
- 3-5% water which helps for moisture
- 3% to 5% oats, modified corn starch, sugar, yeast, citric acid, silicon dioxide, maltodextrin and ‘other ingredients that contribute to the quality of our product’
- 88% USDA-quality beef
- 3% to 5% spices (including everything from salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, cocoa powder, natural smoke flavor and a proprietary blend of Mexican spices and natural flavors).
Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit and what the final findings are, I for one am not going anywhere. I’ve been loyal to Taco Bell since I was five years old and nothing on earth compares to that Crunchy Taco Supreme after ending a late night full of entertainment. As one patron of Taco Bell put it, “’I'm pretty sure you know what you’re paying for when you come to Taco Bell. If you want real beef you’d probably go somewhere else.”