The beef with Taco Bell

Dante Frattini

According to an Associated Press story published on Jan. 4, a class action lawsuit has been filed against Taco Bell that accuses the fast food company of false advertising.

A huge corporation that profits off clogging the arteries of drunken college students not being truthful? Say it ain’t so.

In its commercials, Taco Bell often lists the ingredients of the food product being featured. The lawsuit claims Taco Bell is misleading customers when it refers to its “seasoned beef,” which is the staple of many of its menu items.

According to the law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, a term like “seasoned science-experiment” might be more accurate. The law firm had the meat-mixture tested and said results indicate it contains less than 35 percent beef.

What’s the other 65 percent? Supposedly a mixture of water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch.

Anti-dusting agents? Sounds like the villains from the upcoming “Matrix”-“Grapes of Wrath” hybrid movie in which Keanu Reeves stars as Tom Joad.

Taco Bell has issued a statement that denies these accusations. The corporation claims that its seasoned beef is composed of 88 percent USDA quality beef, while the other 12 percent is water, seasoning and ingredients that give the beef texture and consistency.

Admittedly, the chances of me comprehending a legal dispute are about the same as Mel Gibson’s chances of getting laid at a Bar Mitzvah.

However, since I love talking about things I don’t understand &- the stock market, female orgasms, sobriety &- I’d like to explore the possible outcomes of this lawsuit and jump to some conclusions founded in nothing but ego.

What if Taco Bell is telling the truth? I find this to be the more unlikely of the two scenarios, but hey &- innocent until proven guilty, right? If it is proven that Taco Bell’s seasoned beef is in fact 88 percent beef, what will be the reaction?

Surprise, for one, as any pleasant news about fast-food companies tends to be unexpected.

But also apathy, which will likely be the overwhelming reaction whether Taco Bell is telling the truth or found guilty of false advertising.

Sure, it would be nice if all fast-food chains reformed their recipes, used only healthy and fresh ingredients, and also complimented your hair as you passed through the drive-thru.

But it’s more likely that they will continue to cut costs wherever possible and only acknowledge their shrewd business practices when exposed by watchdog groups and labor unions.

The only truth known at the time of this writing is that most of Taco Bell’s food is delicious. And that is all that will continue to matter to its customers.

Besides, low-grade beef is far down on the list of things drunken college students wish they hadn’t put in their mouths.

Dante Frattini can be reached at [email protected]