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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fast food crime

No, it's not illegal.

But it probably should be.

Instead, Taco Bell is being sued in civil court for what it sells as "ground beef."

From the article:

"Taco Bell's ground beef includes ingredients such as water, isolated oat product, an anti-dusting agent, an anti-caking agent and modified corn starch, as well as beef and seasonings.


"Just 35% of what Taco Bell calls its "taco meat filling's" ingredient list was a solid and just 15% of it qualified as protein."

Ironically, the company that owns Taco Bell is called "Yum Brands."

Talk about false advertising.

And here is what is in their "beef."

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.


  1. Very interesting post. It will make me think twice before eating at a Taco Bell anytime soon. This is bad publicity for the company that may or may not make mainstream news due to the corporation that owns the company.

  2. Food labeling laws are tortuous and obscure (see the blog Food Politics, or better yet, read the tome of the same name-interesting stuff). I am not really defending Taco Bell, but seriously, anyone who has ever eaten that stuff could NOT mistake it as being mostly meat! And in further not defending them, I would dare say that that list of ingredients is no more (but maybe less) scary than the usual fast food fare. I just really don't see how this is news-if it were being stretched with something truly harmful, then it should absolutely be news. Chances are, if you're eating at any big chain restaurant you're getting processed food that's not what it appears.

    I could see Taco Bell coming under fire from the USDA, who generally makes labeling requirements, but I think a civil suit is beyond silly for this-I'm sorry but if you're making regular trips to taco bell, the fact that you're not getting pure beef is the least of your concerns. And I defend the McD's coffee suit that everyone makes fun of, if that gives any insight into my general standing on things.

  3. The media is our world these days. I saw this posted on Facebook earlier and it grabbed my attention for just a second. Several people commented on that post. Despite what is in the meat at Taco Bell, people will still support it and continue to eat there. I don't think it will really change people's attitudes because they now know what they have really been eating everytime they have stopped for a taco. It will probably take more than a list of ingredients to stop most people from eating there.

  4. After about 4 months, the law firm suing Taco Bell for false advertising is dropping its lawsuit. They said that due to the lawsuit, Taco Bell has changed their marketing and products, so there is no need to go along with the lawsuit.

    So what is the truth. Who should we listen to. The person who crucified Taco Bell for about 4 million dollars (public relation costs) and counting or Taco Bell. This is what happens when the media is jumping on to stories without investigating the allegations first. If this had been mom and pops fast food place instead of a 5,600 fast food chain, then it would have been over even before the case was settled.

    It just makes me realize how powerful the media is especially when it is associated with the courts. Imagine if you were a McDonald's executive and sued Burger King for false advertisement. Then retracted because you've already caused enough damage. Is this worst than having less than 15% beef?

  5. This is the link to the new story about Taco Bell.
    Same writer, different story.