Taco Bell's beef has come under fire, but if only 36 percent of the "beef" is actually beef by volume, what's the rest made of?
Ranging from cocoa power to terms as generic as "spices," the other 64 percent is made up of a wide range of fillers, extenders and preservatives.
Can this be called beef at all? The Alabama law firm bringing the suit against the chain doesn't think so.
According to the USDA, they can't call their mixture "beef" at all. Beef is defined by the USDA as "flesh of cattle", and ground beef is defined as:
Chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders.
The full list of ingredients in "Taco Meat Filling" is below.
Taco Bell Beef Ingredients:
- Isolated oat product
- Chili pepper
- Onion powder
- Tomato powder
- Oats (wheat)
- Soy lecithin
- Maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose)
- Soybean oil (anti-dusting agent)
- Garlic powder
- Autolyzed yeast extract
- Citric acid, caramel color
- Cocoa powder
- Silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent)
- Natural flavors
- Modified corn starch
- Natural smoke flavor
- Sodium phosphate
- Less than 2% of beef broth
- Potassium phosphate
- Potassium lactate