Taco Bell “Meat”: What Is It Exactly?
Today we stopped by a Taco Bell to do some blog research and get a little lunch. For just over ten dollars I got my blog idea for the day. What the heck is in this controversial taco meat?
I have been reading stories about this for days and saw it mentioned on the Colbert Report. Here are a few recent articles to catch you up:
Do we expect too much from fast food?: Attack on Taco Bell’s beefy filling highlights changing ideas about fast food (Jan 25)
You can find endless articles and news stories about the controversy and I recommend viewing Colbert’s coverage but you would have to go to the Comedy Central website and view the episode but here is an article about it along with a video from The Huffington Post website:
So, what is it really made out of?
Actual ingredients: 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. (reference image and transcription of a label from this article.)
Seasoned Ground Beef recipe according to the Taco Bell’s website’s Ingredient’s Statement: 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
In other words: A lot more than “seasoned beef” but, is it really that bad?
We went directly to the source to find out…
The food wasn’t great but it wasn’t awful. I certainly would not eat it everyday and it didn’t resemble any taco meat I have ever been able to produce at home. If you chose to eat this occasionally I don’t think it is a big deal but as for myself I limit the amount of fast food I buy and consume. I do work for a fast food-ish sandwich franchise and see people making horrible decisions on a daily basis. The main issues I see are people not being active, people being uneducated about food choices and people leaving veggies off and piling meat, cheese and sauce on.
My current goal is to remain as active as I can and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I should drink more water and cut soda out of my diet next but I can only be successful if I master one skill at a time.
So far I am also trying to cook more at home and am barely surviving on my very limited food budget. I know it may be tempting to eat fast food because it seems easy and cheap but you can transition to healthier and more economical meals for your family with a little research and planning.
If you are interested in learning more about nutritional information, healthy eating habits, or getting meal ideas complete with photos please check out my other posts under the cooking, and food categories.
Hopefully through a little research and thought I have helped someone else understand this seemingly “silly” news story. I try my best to make sense of this crazy world of marketing and consumerism but I am always interested in what everyone else thinks, add your opinion (expert or otherwise) in the comment section below, thanks for taking the time to read!
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Tags: beef, ingredient, lawsuit, meat, photos, postaday2011, Recipe, taco bell