• Posted by Califia Suntree on February 10th, 2011, 11:21 AM

    Just when everyone had finally stopped talking about Taco Bell’s controversial 64% vegetarian “beef filling” (all it took was a revolution in the world’s largest Muslim nation to push tacos out of the headlines…), the company has dragged itself back in the limelight by handing out free food via Facebook. Between this and their full-page “Thank you for suing us” newspaper ads, Taco Bell seems to be embracing the “all publicity is good publicity” theory with gusto.

    But, in all the hubub, one argument that I haven’t heard nearly enough (if at all), is that Taco Bell’s approach should, in fact, be a widely adopted model for reducing America’s consumption of nasty low-quality beef.

    Fast food chains, and most supermarkets, offer up ground beef that comes from cows that have been inhumanely raised, pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and killed in highly polluting factory slaughterhouses; the meat is then “washed” with ammonia, mixed with so-called “pink slime”, and combined with beef bits from all over the country. We then eat way too much of it, leading to a national obesity and heart-disease crisis…

    And all this time we could have been eating 64% veggie burgers and not even known the difference?

    I say raise hell to remove the actual nasties like sand, “anti dusting” agents and hideous preservatives, but leave the oats, wheat, soy, and trickster spices in place.

    Millions of people were eating these “beefish” tacos without noticing their majority vegetarian nature; perhaps there’s a secret here to reducing all of our meat consumption, even at home. Coming up next, I test out the “Taco Bell ratio” by combining 35% ground beef with 65% fake meat in my own kitchen. Will anyone detect the subterfuge? Or is this the new wave of Deceptively Delicious? Stay tuned!

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