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Monday, January 31, 2011

Reflexive Food Industry Hate

This Is What Really Hides In Taco Bell's "Beef"

"Taco Bell "beef" pseudo-Mexican delicacies are really made of a gross mixture called "Taco Meat Filling" as shown on their big container's labels, like the one pictured here. The list of ingredients is gruesome...

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.

It looks bad but passable... until you learn that—according to the Alabama law firm suing Taco Bell—only 36% of that is beef."

The only sensible comments:

mbuch001: I work in the food industry, and guess what? I was surprised at how full of food this list was.
Anti-dusting agent keeps the sauce from being crumbly and falling apart, and anti-caking agent keeps the spices from clumping together. There's no mystery there. As for sugar, I put that in meat loaf at home, and I make my sauce from scratch.

Homemade Tex-Mex taco filling isn't going to have as much meat in it as you might think, once you add in all the spices, chopped onion, minced jalapeno and chopped tomato. By the time you're done, you might only have a 60% meat mixture. It should be expected that a commercial mix is going to have extenders, or it would cost prohibitive to make on a large scale, at a price that the average consumer wants to pay for fast food.

As other people have said, we're not talking wood pulp here (which is a common ingredient in commercial 'high fiber' bread). What we have is oats, wheat and yeast, none of which will harm you. You eat those ingredients all the time, even in foods you make yourself.

I try to avoid eating fast food because I like controlling what I put in my body. Therefore, people like me can have a cheap taco like this once in a while and it won't do any damage. However, if you are the kind of person who lives on fast food, it's not the chemicals in these tacos that will make you ill (they're all pretty common and harmless) - it's the salt and fat. The quality of the meat is pretty low, too. It's slightly better than dog food, but not by much. But then, when it comes to fast food, you get what you pay for, and you're not paying much.

robjennings: Whoa, hold on. Careful there. People can't handle that much reason and logic in the comments section.

People aren't really interested in learning or understanding food. They just want to freak out when they read an off-topic article on a gadget blog.

badweasel: Yeah.. it doesn't sound too bad to me. BEEF is the first ingredient meaning that there is more of that than any other single ingredient. Tacos are not made with 100% pure hamburger. Even my home made meatballs are only 30% beef because of the eggs and breadcrumbs onion parsley and cheese. 1 lb of beef makes 25 meatballs!

Ever made taco meat at home? It's beef, water, and LOTS of seasonings. They added oats to stretch it and that's about the same as those wonderful home made meatballs I make.

You're saying that it's labeled as 'beef' but it's not. Notice the label.. it doesn't say beef it says taco meat filling and I expect they're well within their rights to call it that. Now if the BEEF that is listed as the first ingredient isn't real BEEF then THAT would be a problem. But that's not the case.

This is all just media hype to get readers and news viewers. Sensationalism. Everyone with half a brain knows that fast food isn't healthy. If they don't, then it falls under survival of the fittest.

I'm suddenly hungry for taco bell!
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