Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real Beef for Sale

This morning I read in the news that Taco Bell is being sued for false advertising for listing "ground beef" as an ingredient in their products. 

"...the "taco meat filling" used by Taco Bell is only about 35% beef, with binders, extenders, preservatives, additives and other agents making up the other 65%."

Just what is the other 65% made of?

"...water, sodium phosphates, soy lecithin, modified corn starch, and anti-caking and anti-dusting agents, among others ingredients."

Quotes extracted from the following AP news article.  Click below for the full article.

Fox News has a similar article where it lists, wheat, oats, maltodextrin, as additional ingredients to the "ground beef".

I have expressed my opinion on this blog in the past that labels are often misleading.
"Beyond Organic" and "Food Inc and Thoughts on Organic" are two posts that summarize my opinion well.

The hard and frustrating aspect to all this is that since we can't trust a label or how a business like Taco Bell advertises, we the consumer become burdened with a difficult task.  The task of researching and finding out the truth about our food.  And then supporting the food providers we find to be acceptable.

I really don't have an issue with Taco Bell adding fillers like oats, wheat, and soy to their meat so long as they are honest about it.  After all, is it not the consumer who has demanded that tacos be sold for $0.59?  I don't believe I could make a taco for $0.59!  And I'm a farmer!  How would I expect a business to buy the ingredients, pay for employees to make my food, as well as an expensive retail location that is convenient for me for less than what I the farmer can make that meal for?  The scales of economy can only reach so far.

The problem as I see it is two fold:  1. Businesses lack integrity. 2. Consumers lack knowledge of where their food comes from.  I believe one solution will solve both aspects of the problem.  The solution is behavior-changing knowledge.

As consumers learn about the food industry, they will become more aware of the food they are eating.  Hopefully this will lead to a change in their food buying habits.  Businesses that are honest and offer a product that consumers demand will thrive and grow.  Those that are deceitful and/or don't offer products that consumers demand will suffer.  Slowly the food industry will change for the better.  The consumer has the money and therefore the power to make changes.

So if tacos sound good for dinner, we would be happy to provide you with some real ground beef.  Ground Beef that has been dry aged so that it is full of deep flavor and wonderful tenderness. 
(Dry aged ground beef cannot be found in stores.)  Our beef has not been washed in ammonia.  It is grass fed and therefore lean, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated lineaic acids (CLA's).  Our ground beef comes from perfectly healthy young steers.  Not cull cows or injured animals.  Best of all it is 100% pure ground beef made from the whole beef and not just the trimmings.  While your taco may cost a little more than $0.59, I think you will find it well worth it.
Order your ground beef here.

While your at it, may I suggest that you top your taco with fresh heirloom tomatoes from Jacob's Cove or another local farmer?  Jacob's Cove grows their produce in greenhouses and can provide produce most of the year. 

1 comment:

Rose said...

I've been planning to write about this on our farm blog as well (shameless plug--that's at www.godfreyfamilyfarms.com). There are 2 points that jump out at me.

1.The lawsuit is based on the fact that Taco Bell is accused of not meeting the legal definition of meat. Who knew that meat needed a legal definition? Up until yesterday, I thought meat was made up of.....MEAT!

2. What is the actual price of ground beef in a cheap taco? If only a small percentage of the substance is meat, would we say that an ounce is actual meat or a half ounce or how much? If you price it out, I bet that cheap meat ends up costing more per pound than some really great meat. But people think they are getting a bargain buying a cheap taco.