I love Taco Bell, and judging by the impressive line in Mary Jemison Dining Hall each weekday, I'm not the only one. Therefore, I should not be alone in my concern and alarm that our precious mecca of gooey cheez ("cheese" would imply an actual dairy product, not the orange goo that comes in a Taco Bell burrito), crunchy tortillas and steamy beans is under attack.
An Alabama law firm is refusing to "think outside the bun" and is instead filing a class action lawsuit claiming that Taco Bell's meat filling is less beef and more mystery meat. Choosing to stand behind my beloved gorditas was more of a gastronomical reaction than a premeditated choice, but now that I've had some time to think it over I can confidently conclude that the lawsuit is stupid.
First of all, if you didn't already know that Taco Bell has sketchy meat, shame on you. Anyone glancing at a T-Bell product sees the orange-tinted, mysteriously chunky meat; consumers of the protein in question are familiar with the neon grease that oozes out and inconveniently lands on the one piece of valuable clothing you chose to wear that day, permanently leaving a stain and forever marking you as a consumer of fast food tacos. If you've ever been able to catch a glance into the back of a Taco Bell, you will notice that everything comes out of a tube. It's shamelessly gross, but that's okay because it's obvious; bagged meat is fine as long as you know what you're getting yourself into.
Secondly, why pick on Taco Bell? Wait – all fast food meat is full of fillers, chemicals and mystery paste? Who knew? I always thought Ronald McDonald raised each of his chickens with love and individualized care until he chopped them up into nuggets. And you're telling me that Wendy doesn't actually slave over the hot stove stirring chili all day? To pick one fast food restaurant to sue out of all the others who probably get their meat from the exact same sick cow factory somewhere in the Midwest is ludicrous.
Third, Taco Bell is responding beautifully to this lawsuit. The company recently created a short cartoon about flavorful superheroes fighting to banish blandness from the planet. Additionally, the president of Taco Bell released a full page ad with "Thanks for suing us" plastered on the top followed by a letter explaining that the company only uses certified beef and that the chain's meat seasoning recipe is public knowledge.
The fourth and most important reason that I support Taco Bell is simple: the mixture of questionable meat, cheese-like substance, anemic tomatoes, lettuce and sauce out of little witty packets is absolutely delicious. Guilty pleasure? Yes – one that I plan on defending until the very end (which, if it includes Taco Bell, might find me with diabetes and heart disease, but that's a separate issue).