Back in 2011, a law firm in Alabama filed a lawsuit against Taco Bell that accused the fast food chain and its parent company, Yum! Brands, of false advertising when it came to the “beef” that is used in those delicious and cheap tacos. It was eventually revealed that Taco Bell’s meat is 88% beef and 12% other stuff that is used to process and make it taste so wonderful at 3 AM, and the company coming clean about it was good enough to get the lawsuit booted. But there were still plenty of people who kept buying into the urban legends that Taco Bell meat is something called “Grade D” or made from properly-seasoned cardboard, so TacoBell.com recently received a new edition that makes everything regarding the ingredients much clearer.
For example, let’s talk about that Grade D beef for a second. Is that actually the term for Taco Bell’s meat?
Although that’s funny, the answer is NO. In fact, there’s no such grade given by the USDA for beef. We use the same quality beef used in all ground beef (like you’d find in the grocery store) – only USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef, period. We’re one of the largest beef buyers in the U.S. Every year, we buy about 300 million pounds of seasoned beef. Since we buy in bulk, we’re able to secure some of the best prices, which we pass along to you.
Okay, you win that faceoff, Taco Bell, but we’ll catch you off guard with your own questions just yet. What about cellulose? Isn’t that just a fancy term for wood?
Cellulose is a safe carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants and helps with water and oil binding. You’ll find it in everything from cheese and vitamins to bread and pasta.
Enough with the easy questions. What about those big, strange words that sound like chemicals from Dr. Wily’s laboratory? What is Trehalose?
It’s a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.
And Potassium Chloride?
Well, potassium chloride is a common salt substitute used in the food industry. We actually used it to help reduce the amount of salt used in our seasoned beef recipe, which is part of our ongoing effort to reduce sodium levels in our ingredients while still delivering the same great taste you expect from us.
How about Sodium Phosphates?
Well, we use them to help make sure our seasoned beef is the right texture. They’re also commonly found in deli items, cheeses, coffee drinks and desserts.
Stop starting all of your answers with “Well…” That’s my annoying quirk, damn it. Fine, tell me Maltodextrin! There’s no way that could be a good thing.
It sounds weird, but it’s actually a form of mildly sweet sugar we use to balance the flavor. You may have had it the last time you had a natural soda.
Well, it looks like Taco Bell has all of its bases covered. But there’s still one question that the evil geniuses behind this fast food giant refuse to answer – what’s up with the Volcano Tacos? Bring them back, please. I miss them.