This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but according to a lawsuit filed in Alabama, the “meat” used in Taco Bell dishes isn’t really meat.
A class-action lawsuit filed by a Montgomery, Alabama, law firm claims that the fast-food chain uses false advertising in claiming that the filling in its “beef” menu items (such as its beefy crunch burrito) is made from “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef.” The taco meat filling, the lawsuit states rather bluntly, “is not beef” according to the minimum standards set by the USDA.
Instead, the suit contends, the beef filling is “comprised of substances other than beef” that are required by law to be labeled as “taco meat filling.” Those substances include “isolated oat product,” anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, and sodium phosphate, the latter of which the USDA expressly prohibits from being included in “ground beef.” To further clarify the matter for confused Taco Bell executives, the suit helpfully references Merriam-Webster’s definition of “beef” as “the flesh of an adult domestic bovine (as steer or cow) used as food.”
Another dictionary entry that may be of some use to those unnerved by the lawsuit’s claims: “vegetarianism.”
[Lawsuit via WTOL]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 25, 2011