Taco Bell's 'Beef': Just 36% Actual Beef

Which makes us wonder ... what's the other 64%?
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2011 7:03 AM CST
Taco Bell's 'Beef': Just 36% Actual Beef
Taco Bell and KFC, together at last.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Its menus say “beef,” but its packaging cites “meat filling:" Taco Bell has been hit with a class-action suit over “false advertising,” WTOL-11 reports. Chock full of “extenders” and other non-meat items, the chain’s filling has no right to call itself beef, claims the Alabama firm’s suit. Taco Bell will “vigorously defend” itself, says a rep: “We deny our advertising is misleading in any way.” (He also, amusingly enough, refers to the Bell's menu as "Mexican inspired food.")

The product shipped to Taco Bell stores is labeled “Taco Bell Meat Filling,” but customers—not surprisingly—don’t see that. According the USDA, “beef” is “flesh of cattle” ... not water, “Isolated Oat Product,” maltodrextrin, or anti-dusting agent, all of which the filling contains, notes the lawsuit. Even to be called “taco filling,” the suit argues, the USDA says a product must contain at least 40% meat ... and Taco Bell’s product is only 36%. (Click to find out just how many of us eat at Taco Bell each week.)

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