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No quiero Taco Bell: Fast food standards are repugnant

Taco Bell’s ‘beef filling’ contains only 35 percent actual beef — the other 65 percent is a mixture of fillers such as water, soy lecithin and anti-dusting agents.


In light of recent reports, it’s now very difficult to imagine people passing by Taco Bell without gagging. These reports saying the fast food chain’s beef recipe contained only 35 percent actual beef emerged from an Alabama lawsuit. The rest of the “beef” contained fillers such as water, soy lecithin and anti-dusting agents (added to prevent the creation of dust when certain materials are ground).

The public’s biggest concern is the company’s false advertising. Taco Bell states its taco filling is, in fact, ground beef in commercials; however, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, ground beef must contain 70 percent beef. The lawsuit against the company alleges that this is not the case with the taco filling.

In defense, Taco Bell released statements insisting its beef is actually 88 percent beef, with added ingredients and seasonings.

Taco Bell should be advertising the truth: it serves what can barely be called “taco beef filling,” which is required to contain 40 percent meat. If people want to put such a disgusting mixture into their bodies, then they sure can — but they should at least be aware that their beef taco is actually mostly filler, not seasoned beef.

This is simply revolting. The fact that anyone would want to ingest food processed to the point of it being more soy than meat is mind-boggling.

The recent commotion also raises the issue of processed food standards. That the USDA would allow a mixture of such low meat proportions through to the market is concerning. Taco Bell states on its website that it wishes to “secure lower prices,” and pass those on to consumers. But to what extremes will the company go to get a cheap price? Using less actual meat in recipes surely costs less, but at the expense of food quality and the trust and health of customers.

Rose Berntsen, a sophomore communication major with a certificate in public relations, is turned off by Taco Bell’s quality of food.

“Taco Bell was good, then the last time I had their chicken I literally took one bite and gagged,” Berntsen said.

That’s not the reaction the restaurant is looking for, surely, but that’s certainly what Taco Bell is receiving. It will continue to lose customers and support unless its standards of food are addressed.

Honors College Activities Coordinator Chris Hyer finds the Bell’s “beef” disgusting.

“Taco Bell’s beef is as gross as a selecting a random piece of gum from under the seat on the bus and putting it into your mouth,” he said.

“Taco beef filling” shouldn’t be on the market. Sure, it’s inexpensive and easy, but our food should be more important to us than that.

Berntsen agrees that processed food standards should be higher.

“If they (USDA) can feed it to us, they should be able to eat it and not worry about weight issues, health issues or deep frying,” she said.

Fast food companies should offer higher quality food than they do now. Higher quality will only come from efforts by the institutions that govern the food products consumers receive. The USDA should hold processed foods to better standards than they have in the past.

Taco Bell deserves a lawsuit if it claims to be selling food it’s really not. Misleading commercials serve only to confuse customers into buying something they don’t really want. How typical of an American corporation. But let’s not put the blame entirely on others — people should refuse to accept such low quality standards and demand better quality food.

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6 Comments on No quiero Taco Bell: Fast food standards are repugnant

  1. Juan Tepicoelhoyo // Mar 10, 2011 at 11:19 am //

    its true. their food can kiss my ass

  2. This comment was off topic and has been removed by the administrator. If you have questions about our policy, it is copied below.

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  3. Fuck you admin // Mar 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm //

    why did you erase my comments you jerk?!?!

  4. I ate at TB today for the last time. I ordered a shrimp burrito and a regular crunchy taco. They put red tortilla chip crumbs in the burrito; the burrito was stuffed mostly with cheap iceberg lettuce, and had little flavor. The taco was worse, MUCH worse. There was very, very little “beef filling” in it, maybe a tablespoon spread out; only ten shreds of cheese on top (I counted); lots of cheap iceberg lettuce AND they added sour cream, which I detest. Because I had gone through the drive-through and didn’t open the bag until I got home, of course it was too late. The smell of the sour cream turned my stomach. Well, maybe all isn’t lost, because NOT eating their food is a great way to lose weight. But this is the last time TB gets my money for inedible, atrocious “food”.

  5. I've never had an issue with their chicken quesadillas… plus, the mild sauce taste delicious by itself right out of the packet… Some people crazy, before you know it, people will just stop eating all together when they realize 95% of the stuff in the supermarket is stuffed with junk…

  6. Oh, give me a break. Whenever someone finds something disagreeable in society, they immediately call on the government to fix it. Let's remember something: businesses exist to serve the customer. While the intentions of business owners may be to make profits, they can only do so by serving the customer. If they're making profits, it means consumers prefer the product that company is selling relative to the alternatives.

    You write that Taco Bell's food quality will only go up if the USDA improves its regulations of processed meat. But that is not true. In fact, you proved it yourself when you wrote that,

    "Using less actual meat in recipes surely costs less, but at the expense of food quality and the trust and health of customers."

    If TB looses the trust of its customers, how well do you think they'll be doing on the market? And if they're doing okay right now, what does that tell you?

    I don't eat at TB because I find it disgusting. But if other people like it, who am I to call for "lawsuits" and more regulation?

    My recent post Wikileaks and Diplomatic Trust

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