Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fast "Food" or Fast Food

Yikes, three things you may not want to know about. But, you ought to anyway.

1 - The ingredients to Taco Bell's "beef" (aka - "taco meat filling"):
Beef, 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 color, 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.
It looks gruesome but passable... until you learn that, according to the Alabama law firm suing Taco Bell—only 36% of that is beef. Thirty-six percent. The other 64% is mostly tasteless fibers—which are there to increase volume while keeping the cost down—additives and some flavoring and coloring. Everything is processed into a mass that actually looks like beef, and packed into big containers labeled as "taco meat filling." These containers get shipped to Taco Bell's outlets and cooked into something that, again, looks like beef, is called beef and is advertised as beef.
2 - A six-month time lapse video of what happened to a Happy Meal from McDonalds. It isn't what I expected and yet I am more frightened by what didn't happen:

There isn't much difference in a 4-year old Happy Meal either...

3 - Processed Chicken nuggets and patties start from a pink goo that is hard to describe, but you can see a pic of it here. This is a partial description:
Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.

There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.
***One advantage to what you now know - it makes it easier to eat healthy.***

Disclaimer: This picture above is a parody. Taco Bell logo is a registered trademark. Taco Bell does not sponsor or endorse, and is not affiliated with, this website.

6 comments:

priest's wife said...

I read somewhere that you can eat as much junk or fast food as long as you make it yourself- so make potato chips at home, chicken nuggets at home, iced coffee at home...etc

I lived in Slovakia in '94- they had no fast food back then. When you traveled, you would take cheese, salami, bread, fruit, veggie and water- maybe coffee in a thermos- I need to get back to that.

Danielle said...

You might be interested in checking out this link for more information on the Happy Meal issue:

http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/11/the-burger-lab-revisiting-the-myth-of-the-12-year-old-burger-testing-results.html

It approaches the issues from a scientific method angle.

By the way, love the blog! Keep up the wonderful work.

tour86rocker said...

It gets better: my coworkers chastise each other when someone gets Taco Bell for lunch because they call the Taco Filling "tube meat". The rumor is that it is comes from plastic tube that is warmed and then squeezed out.

tour86rocker said...

Oh, one more thing: silicon dioxide is in the Taco "meat"? One form of silicon dioxide is SAND.

tour86rocker said...

Scratch that, it's not unusual for SiO2 to be in foods that contain plant products: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/silicon-dioxide-in-food.html

Christina said...

If it was just the grinding up of the meat and separating it I wouldn't mind #3 so much. Whenever I get a whole chicken I always use every piece, to the point of making stock out of the carcass. I'd be upset with the food industry if they did otherwise (ie - wasting food).

However the soaking in chemicals is a huge problem. That comes from the unsanitary conditions the birds are kept in.