Sunday, January 23, 2011

Get To Know Your Food

We all know what's in a taco, right? Lettuce, tomato, cheese, and beef......right? Well, if you get your taco at Taco Bell, that may not be entirely correct.

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has filed a consumer rights class action lawsuit against Taco Bell Corporation. The lawsuit challenges Taco Bell's practice of representing to consumers that its restaurants serve "seasoned ground beef" or "seasoned beef" filling in its products, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef. The lawsuit seeks to require Taco Bell to properly advertise and label food items, and to engage in a corrective advertising campaign to educate the public about the true content of its food products.

According to standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the meat filling in Taco Bell's products does not meet the minimum standard requirement to be labeled and advertised as "beef," seasoned or otherwise. The substantial majority of the filling is comprised of substances other than beef, and is required to be labeled and advertised as "taco meat filing." Taco meat filling includes ingredients added to increase the volume of the product, such as binders and extenders like "isolated oat product."

"Our government, through the USDA and FDA, provides definitions, standards and labeling guidelines for 'ground beef.' What Taco Bell is representing on their restaurant menu as 'ground beef' does not meet any of those definitions, standards and labeling guidelines," explains Beasley Allen attorney Dee Miles. "This product does not qualify to be considered 'ground beef' and many of the 'seasoning' ingredients are in fact binders, fillers and coloring. These ingredients increase the overall volume of this product, reducing the actual 'beef' content per serving. It is against the law in this country to take someone's money for a product that is misrepresented. This lawsuit seeks to put a stop to that type of conduct and practice," he says.

One report I read said there is so little actual beef in one of these tacos, it could almost be considered vegan. Yet we all pile in to the drive thru to get them--why is that? Say it with me....because it's Cheap and Convenient. And they taste pretty good. Best of all, we don't even have to get our ass out of our car to get them!

Unfortunately, the lawsuit isn't challenging Taco Bell to change it's ingredients, merely to be truthful in advertising them. I'm sure there's nothing dangerous in the "taco meat filling" or the "seasoning", but wouldn't it be nice if we could just buy a taco with real ground beef and spices? Get to know your food, folks.

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