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Taco Bell Meat Mystery: What's Other 12 Percent That's Not Beef?

Image: Taco Bell Meat Mystery: What's Other 12 Percent That's Not Beef?

By Nick Sanchez   |   Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 08:15 AM

Taco Bell is taking a brief hiatus from its breakfast war with McDonald's to explain once and for all what really is in its beef, and how much of it is in fact beef.

According to ABC News, Taco Bell has posted an explanatory graphic on its website this week detailing the 12 percent of its beef that isn't beef.

"Our seasoned beef recipe consists of 88 percent Premium Beef and 12 percent Signature Recipe," the site explains. Some of the ingredients in the Signature Recipe "do have weird names," it states, but they are all "safe and approved by the FDA."

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Taco Bell came under fire for its beef practices back in 2011 when a class action lawsuit was filed against the company claiming that the company's beef was less than half actual beef. Because of this, it claimed the company could not rightfully continue to advertise it as beef according to the USDA's official definition and requirements.

Taco Bell reacted strongly to this criticism, revealing that the majority of its "Taco Meat Filling" was in fact beef — 88 percent to be exact. That left many to wonder for years, however, about the other 12 percent.

Taco Bell seems to now have all its proverbial ducks in a row, and seems ready to take on any question the public has about the Signature Recipe. In fact, it asks many of them itself:

Is it Grade D meat? Taco Bell's answer: "Although that's funny, the answer is NO. In fact, there's no such grade given by the USDA for beef. We use the same quality beef used in all ground beef (like you'd find in the grocery store) - only USDA-inspected, 100% premium real beef, period."

Do you use oats as filler? Answer: "No, not as filler. Our seasoned beef doesn't contain any 'fillers' or 'extenders' to add volume. The very small percentage of oats is used to help our Seasoned Beef stay moist."

Isn't cellulose a fancy term for wood? Answer: "Cellulose is a safe carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants and helps with water and oil binding. You'll find it in everything from cheese and vitamins to bread and pasta."

Many took to Twitter to say that even after the big reveal they'll refrain from eating at the fast food joint, but a great many young people seem to be un-phased, and continue to Tweet their love for Taco Bell. Throughout April many of them used Taco Bell as part of their courtships for prom dates and even prom dinner.

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