taco bell ugh -                                                        cfsg by charlz koskinen
            Thispast Tuesday, I heard an NPR piece about the Beasley-Allen Class Action lawsuitagainst Taco Bell for referring to its greasy beeflike taco filling as “beef.”The representative of the Alabama-based firm, whose name eludes me, contends thatfor it to be called beef, it should contain at least 80% beef, and for it to becalled “meat,” it would have to contain 40% meat, a threshold which the Californiachain’s taco innards does not apparently pass. According to the plaintiff, TacoBell’s vermillion gruel contains only 36% beef, listing other ingredients asincluding gluten extender, sodium phosphate, water, maltodextrin, “isolated oat product,” and,perhaps most notably, silicon dioxide, which happens to be the primary ingredientin sand and many varieties of makeup.

            Idid a bit of fact checking on the issue, starting with the beef levelrequirements, which FDA.gov quickly confirmed. So that just left Taco Bell.Almost needless to say, in their statement, easily available on their website(in fact, it’s a sponsored Google search result for the phrase “taco bell classaction lawsuit”), they deny everything they can. They stand firm in theirattempt to capitalize on the stupidity of the average American, using wordslike “authentic” and “all-natural,” which have absolutely no meaning in legalstanding. Taco Bell claims that their beef is 88% beef and 12% “seasonings,spices, water and other ingredients that provide taste, texture and moisture.”Notice the lack of Oxford commas, which should pretty concisely summarize my personalfaith in the education levels of Taco Bell’s lawyers.

Nonetheless, withsuch a large gap between the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s claims, this caseshould be easy to resolve by simple measurement and experimentation. But foranyone who’s had an ungodly Taco Bell taco, it is certainly not a stretch toimagine what might be in that cockamamie concoction claimed to be beef.

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