I once knew a guy who worked for a dog food company. I’m not going to tell you any more about him or the company because I don’t want to get him in trouble. But here’s what he told me – that his dog food company gets their meat from the same company Taco Bell does.
Friend of a friend. Take it with a grain of salt, I can’t prove it or anything, just something a guy told me.
I said well there are two ways to look at that. Either eating Taco Bell is really close to eating dog food, or those are some of the luckiest puppy dogs in the world. They get Taco Bell.
But then take a look at this article, which my brother uncovered quite by accident during his investigation last week of a jewel heist at the Governor’s mansion. (He got it wrapped up pretty fast so you probably didn’t hear about it.)
Or don’t take a look at it, because I’m going to summarize it now. It’s about a class action lawsuit filed against Taco Bell in which we learn about a disturbing new meat classification: Taco Meat Filling.
Apparently, there is a pretty big difference between ground beef and Taco Meat Filling. Ground beef must have no more than 30% fat in it. So that’s you going to the store, buying the cheapest hamburger possible. It’s not really worth it because when you cook it up it shrinks so much, but okay, cheap hamburger isn’t very scary.
But Taco Meat Filling indicates only that the product is 40% meat. I’m not trying to insult you, but that’s less than half. What’s the rest of it?
Well, they’re called “extenders.” Isn’t that a nice name? They extend the meat. Mmmmmm.
You know, things like”Isolated Oat Product,” wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agents, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate. And although it’s not on the list, I’m going to guess bugs and turds. I know, it doesn’t seem like responsible journalism does it?
Well, it’s not. But what the fire truck is going on around here? Was my grandpa right all along? Has this whole world gone to Hell in a handbasket? Why in the name of Oprah Winfrey are they allowed to sell dog food and floor sweepings at an American restaurant for human freaking beings?
I’m afraid it gets a little worse. The lawsuit doesn’t seek damages I don’t think (you can read it right here if you’re into that sort of thing), but instead only to compel Taco Bell to stop labeling it’s Horsey Dorsey Organ Paste as ground beef . According to the complaint, “Taco Meat Filling” would actually be a nice, charitable thing to let them call it, because their current product is only 36% meat.
That’s correct – it actually fails to meet the motherscratching minimum requirements to be called Taco Meat Filling.
It’s substandard Taco Meat Filling. If they will agree to call Taco Meat Filling, they’ll still be sort of getting over.
But don’t worry, Taco Bell released a statement saying, we take pride in our product, you guys are a bunch of slack-jawed hillbillies, shut up and eat your tacos you ungrateful morons, etc, etc, etc. (Not really, here’s their actual statement)
And okay, let me just calm down a second. Now that I’ve coughed up that little hairball, I think maybe it’s time to admit to ourselves that we knew this all along. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to Taco Bell with the impression that I was getting good quality food.
As a matter of fact, it’s usually eaten in the course of behaving exactly like a dog – you know, you run around all night sniffing everybody’s butt and peeing in the street, then you roll through Taco Bell for some dog food. Take it to the park and eat it in the bushes, get some sleep.
I never had any illusions that Taco Bell was a reasonable thing to eat, but I think it’s pretty obvious I’ve been shielding my own psyche from things like this. Why else would I ignore a dog food guy who says Taco Bell buys dog food ingredients? Why else would I refuse to look at my chili cheese burrito when I’m cranking it down?
A few years back there was an E coli scare within the Taco Bell chain. Five or six people got six from what I guess you would call Infected, Substandard Taco Meat Filling. And then that night I saw on the news they were interviewing a giant man who was sitting in Taco Bell with a skit-worthy heap of colorful dog food products in front of him, talking with his mouth full.
“Well, you’ve got to live your life,” he pointed out.
I think if you were keeping score, that was the most puzzled facial expression I had on in 2006. I mean, he was right about the odds – five or six out of five or six million Taco Bell patrons isn’t too bad. You take a risk every time you wake up, cross the street, or stick your face in the fan.
But it’s a curious American definition of “living your life” isn’t it? Eating dog food even though so many people have heard it might be diseased that a reporter is standing there asking you why you’re doing it?
Well, screw it. Eat whatever you want – what do I care? I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Unsolicited Food Morality Lecture. Tune in tomorrow, when I’ll go into what kind of clothes you should wear and the manner in which I think you should blow your own nose – because I’m a blogger and it’s some of my business.
Earlier: Defenders of the Glomp