Shortly after we posted the latest on the Taco Bell beef lawsuit this morning, a missive from the company’s headquarters landed in our in-box. Enclosed was the text from an ad that ran in major newspapers this morning that begins, "Thank you for suing us," and goes on to clear up exactly what’s in that 12 percent of taco filling that isn’t beef. Assuming the company is being honest, it’s pretty not-scary!
In case you’re curious, here’s our not-so-secret recipe.
We start with USDA-inspected quality beef (88%). Then add water to keep it juicy and moist (3%). Mix in Mexican spices and flavors, including salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, sugar, garlic powder, and cocoa powder (4%). Combine a little oats, caramelized sugar, yeast, citric acid, and other ingredients that contribute to the flavor, moisture, consistency, and quality of our seasoned beef (5%).
Sure, we still don’t know what grade of meat the Bell is using (just that it’s "real," and "USDA-inspected"), but the whole thing really doesn’t sound too bad. Which got us thinking: Is this whole kerfuffle in fact a great opportunity for Taco Bell? (And not just in the any-press-is-good-press sense.) We haven’t touched anything from the chain since high school, largely because of the sort of universally held suspicion (which we subscribed to) that the meat, if it were even actually meat, was some mystery mix of cow, horse, mouse, whatever. Maybe even something more extreme. But now, with everyone suddenly paying attention, Taco Bell gets to set the record straight about its beef, and the details are kind of reassuring.
The next time we find ourselves on a road trip, are we actually going to feel better about making a run for the border? Read the full ad here (PDF).