Food News

Hey, Taco Bell -- Yo Quiero Meat, Not Mystery!

Taco Bell is the universal staple food of teenagers and stoners everywhere. While no one ever claimed that Taco Bell was good for you, it's been the go-to cheap hangover food for years, and since most people eat Taco Bell only after seriously polluting their bodies anyway, what further harm could a few tacos do?

It's not rocket science that while scarfing down Taco Bell, you probably shouldn't ponder exactly what's in that burrito, but a law firm in Montgomery, Alabama, has done just that. The law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methyin, Portis & Miles has started a class-action lawsuit against Taco Bell, claiming that the beef in Taco Bell products is more "mystery" than "meat." The suit claims that Taco Bell's "meat" contains fillers, water, corn starch, and other nasty bits that are not supposed to be in ground beef.

The USDA definition of "ground beef" states that the beef must consist of "chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and should not contain more than 30 percent fat and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders."  By this definition, Taco Bell might not be playing by the rules.

In a statement regarding the lawsuit, Taco Bell President and Chief Concept Officer Greg Creed fired back, stating, "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." Not sure what Taco Bell's signature texture is supposed to mean, but until this matter is settled, I'd stick with the bean burrito.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss