Taco Bell doesn't use beef in their "beef"-based pseudo-Mexican delicacies. They use a gross thing called "Taco Meat Filling" as shown on their big container's labels - which customers can't see. And the list of ingredients is not very appetising:
Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel colour, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate.
Oh, and 36 per cent beef. Thirty-six percent - plus all the above making up for the other 64 per cent of the party in your mouth.
According to the USDA, you can't call any product that has that kind of combination "beef". Beef is defined as "flesh of cattle". Grounded 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.
That's why an Alabama law firm is presenting a lawsuit for false advertising, claiming that what Taco Bell claims is "beef" in their commercials is just the aforementioned processed clustermass of disgust.
Their containers in which the taco mud arrives to their establishments is labelled as "taco meat filling" which is how it should be labelled in all advertising and packaging, according to the USDA. Of course, new Double Decker with Two Time More Taco Meat Filling doesn't sound quite good.
The irony is that not even if Taco Bell used Taco Meat Filling in their packaging and ads they would be right: The USDA says that any food labelled as "meat taco filling" should at least have 40 per cent fresh meat. According to the Alabama law firm, their stuff only has 36 per cent meat.