>As my readers know, I deplore fast food. It’s bad for the people who eat it, it’s bad for the people who grow it, it’s bad for the people who harvest it, it’s bad for the neighborhoods where the restaurants are located. It’s just bad. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say a big problem with America today is the prevalence of fast food.
“Where’s the beef?” Wendy’s restaurants once famously asked through its advertising, a swipe at its competitors’ burgers.
The same question is now being asked by a California woman regarding Taco Bell’s beef products, which she claims contain very little meat. So little, in fact, that she’s brought a false-advertising lawsuit against the huge fast-food chain.
The class-action suit, which does not ask for money, objects to Taco Bell calling its products “seasoned ground beef or seasoned beef, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef.”
It says Taco Bell’s ground beef is made of such components as water, isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate, as well as some beef and seasonings.
Just 35 percent of the taco filling was a solid, and just 15 percent overall was protein, said attorney W. Daniel “Dee” Miles III of the Montgomery, Ala., law firm Beasley Allen, which filed the suit.
“Taco Bell’s definition of ‘seasoned beef’ does not conform to consumers’ reasonable expectation or ordinary meaning of seasoned beef, which is beef and seasonings,” the suit says. Beef is the “flesh of cattle,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“You can’t call it beef by definition,” Miles said. “It’s junk. I wouldn’t eat it.”
When I was growing up back in the late ’60s and ’70s, we didn’t have Taco Bell. My mom made us tacos using 100% ground beef, which she browned in a giant iron skillet with fresh onions and garlic, and she bought corn tortillas which she fried in vegetable oil. And we topped it with tomatoes and onions and cheddar cheese and sometimes a dollop of fresh guacamole, if avocados were in season. And damn it was good.
That’s how we eat tacos at our house today. Sometimes if I’m lazy I buy the pre-made shells (organic, of course) but otherwise, that’s how you make a taco. Mr. Beale likes his a little spicier than I do, so he adds some cumin powder to his beef. And it’s real beef, not filled with Frankencrap like “isolated oat product,” “wheat oats,” “soy lecithin,” “maltodextrin,” “anti-dusting agent,” etc. What the hell are “wheat oats” anyway? Which is it? Wheat or oats?
Can I tell you how sick and tired I am of picking up fast food trash from the street in front of my house? We live near a Krystal’s and a Wendy’s, and just about every week some asshole finishes eating his or her chemically-modified sandwiches and tosses the bags out the window. Fuck you.
And when my church participated in this human rights action targeting Taco Bell, I learned a lot about how damaging this entire industry is, not just to our bodies but to our entire economy.
It’s a damn shame what the fast food industry has done to this country.