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February 9, 2011

That's so funky

About a week ago the biggest headline here in Los Angeles was the lawsuit filed against Taco Bell claiming its beef tacos and burritos were not beefy enough to be called beef. Now Lindsay Lohan is the breaking news, because here in Los Angeles we have our priorities: celebrities, traffic, traffic caused by celebrities, awards season, and awards season traffic.

I didn't pay much attention to last week's Fast Foodgate because I don't normally think of Taco Bell as being a purveyor of fine quality protein anyway. The lawsuit reportedly claims that only 35% of the taco meat filling is actual beef. Thirty-five percent, eh? That leaves a whole lot of room for the crack cocaine they add to make the food addictive. Yet still I wasn't that freaked out. I don't eat at Taco Bell often enough for it to really set me off in a panic. I have a few million other things above it on my list of stuff to worry about.

But if you read carefully at the very bottom of this story from the Los Angeles Times (opens in a new window) according to the USDA, the term "beef" can be only be used on products containing at least 40% beef.

Now that gave me pause. Shouldn't something called "beef" be required to contain at least 50% of its namesake? And ideally, 100%? I can give you some leeway on spices, but when I make tacos at home it's still 99% meat and 1% spices.

I am not a scientist or a lawyer or even an ardent fan of Taco Bell. But as a normal(ish) American even I can see that there is something really wrong in a world where the government says it's OK to call something "beef" if it is 60% plastic and heroin and salt. That is like saying I am "tall" because I am at least 40% of the height of a supermodel. Or you could say I am "thin" because I am at least 40% made up of thinness.

Actually, now that I think about it, this new Taco Bell math could work for me! I have a scary birthday coming up eventually and I might not have to face it at all. I am, after all, at least 40% still a baby.

Well, done, Taco Bell math. Thank you.

Posted by laurie at February 9, 2011 8:42 AM