Taco Bell Defends the Mysterious Non-Meat Parts of Its ‘Seasoned Beef’

We're more concerned about the shell, honestly.
We're more concerned about the shell, honestly. Photo: Taco Bell

In 2011, we got closer than ever before to some kind of fundamental fast-food truth when we learned that 88 percent of Taco Bell’s so-called “seasoned beef” is, or was, cow. Now, seized by an explainer-culture-prone fit of transparency or something, the company has posted an in-depth notice online that still doesn’t quantify amounts or even list anything “proprietary,” but it does at least try to make you feel better about funny “tongue twister” ingredients like trehalose, maltodextrin, torula yeast, soy lecithin, etc., etc. “They do have weird names,” it admits, but relax — they’re “completely safe and approved by the FDA.” Phew.

The company basically argues you couldn’t escape them if you tried — they’re “found in food items at your grocery store” — but the everybody-else-is-doing-it defense probably won’t win over those incredulous of fast-food chains, especially because the explanations for things you’re the most curious about mostly boil down to unhelpful lines and non-explainer explainers, like trehalose is a “naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.” They should have just gone with “because it makes our tacos taste like our tacos.”

Taco Bell Reveals Its Mystery Beef Ingredients [ABC]