If it’s Not Meat in the Taco Bell Taco – What the Hell is it? | Seriously?

taco bell-bodyMaybe it makes me a bad parent, but a quick meal on the way to some after school activity or when we’re rushed is sometimes essential for my family.  I don’t have the time or the patience to force feed veggies that make my kids gag at every meal.  Nor do I have the skills to hide broccoli in brownies and cauliflower in cupcakes a la Missy Chase Lapine.  While all the moms at a playdate are talking about processed cheese stuffs and how they would never go to McDonald’s, I’m worrying there is evidence of a recent visit in my car and hoping no one needs a ride. Micky D’s recently made sure all their chicken was white meat… and chicken, so why then do I come to find out that Taco Bell has no meat in their beef!

Come on, work with us moms here. How do we get quick protein on the run if there’s no protein in your meat? An Alabama law suit claims that the ground beef at Taco Bell does not meet the USDA’s definition of beef. In fact, there is only 36% beef in their “meat.” If that’s true, what else is in this mystery product that’s going in my kids’ mouths? Well, I’ll tell you: water, “Isolated Oat Product,” wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate, to name a few ingredients you probably can’t grow in your backyard or pronounce for that matter. It sounds like the label on a can of dog food that I wouldn’t feed my dog, although it might be something worth storing in a bomb shelter.

I can’t say my kids don’t like the taste. Like most kids, mine prefer the types of meals you would find on a paper menu that comes with a pack of crayons or at least a prize in a box. I’ve actually found myself saying these very words: “You can’t have dessert until you eat something healthy… now go finish your nuggets.” When I’m home, I do my best to give my children some protein and a serving of something green, or at the very least orange or yellow (pizza may or may not count… depending on the day), but I can’t say I don’t enjoy the convenience of a drive-thru every now and again. I mean look at the word “drive-thru,” even the spelling is fast, easy and over processed. We moms are a busy breed, we do it all: get little ones fed, bathed, rested, educated, and foster their creativity all while running loads of dishes that our husbands don’t rinse off or even put in the sink, and folding piles of laundry that make it to the hamper after 5 minutes of wearing. Okay, that makes us sound a bit June Cleaveresque, but it’s kinda true. Plus many of us volunteer, have jobs, do crafts, sit on boards and let’s not forget driving carpool to soccer practice.

Don’t think I’m being a drive-thru diva; I don’t have high nutritional expectations from fast food. In fact the only expectations I have is that it’s fast and that it’s food. Seriously, is that really too much to ask? READ MORE SERIOUSLY COLUMN ENTRIES AT HYBRID MOM

11 thoughts on “If it’s Not Meat in the Taco Bell Taco – What the Hell is it? | Seriously?

  1. kim @ A Parent's Life to Behold Post author

    What’s weird is, whatever it is, whenever I would have the stomach flu, or even food poisoning, Taco Bell was the only thing I craved and cured me of my ills…I stopped eating meat from restaurants years ago…but now, since I now know TB doesn’t actually serve any meat I say, BRING ON THE BURRITO SUPREME AND A TACO PIZZA!

  2. Gina

    Hilarious! and so sad that we have to find out about stuff like this while we’re in such a health conscious age! You are not a bad mom, I totally rely on BK every Sat. after sports it’s my kids treat.

  3. Mandy

    We don’t really have Taco Bell in the UK in the same numbers you seem to have in the States, but believe me, McD’s and BK are just as big a problem over here for mums riddled with guilt complex .

    Out shopping on a Saturday morning and the kids are trying to spin out the trip so we’re hitting lunchtime – “Can we have lunch in McDonalds?”

    So mum turns into the bad guy (again) and turns them towards home: “You’re not gonna starve if you don’t eat before we get home – for something healthy!”

    Hope they thank me for it when they’re grown up and cancer/diabetes/heart-disease-free!

  4. Kerry

    Luckily I don’t eat the meat there! 7 layer burrito is the best!:) But the chicken is a safer and better choice if you want meat. Oh and what it is is “meat” combined with fillers and binders. Also FYI even places that claim 100% beef is scary. That just means it’s from a cow, can be ANY part of the cow. Yucko. The Today show clarified this recently in one of their interviews (haven’t eaten cow in 20 years so I’m safe but still gross to think about).

  5. barbara

    Sadly of all the fast food restaurants, I remember hearing from someone, somewhere, that Taco Bell was the healthiest of the fast food places. Not saying much, I am sure, but at least it was on the edge of healthier for the family. I have already sat and described what is in Chicken McNuggets to my boys and put them off for life, now I will tell them about Taco Bell. I am quickly putting myself OUT OF places to stop when we need something quick!! LOL!

    But the sad part is, I am not a meat eater in general, but that taco meat tastes SO good. Oh well, I can still make my own. When I have the time….

  6. barry

    I remember hearing stories of the contents of a hot dog. Kinda made TB sound like a gourmet restaurant. I remember my mom, may her soul rest in piece, mixed almost any leftover with burger. Actually it tasted great until you asked what was in them.


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