Category Archives: taco bell

Is it a quesadilla? Is it a burrito? It’s both — the new Taco Bell Quesarito

Taco Bell QuesaritoWe’re living in a world of mash-ups. Music mash-ups are making headlines. Two or more different musical genres making their way into one recording often create a brand new listening experience. Artists of different eras have come together to bring new meaning to old songs. Website mash-ups bring together different technical functions to bring us new processes and performance. Some things can be brought together easily with amazing results.

And some things can’t. And that about sums up the new Taco Bell Quesarito.

Think about this. A cheese quesadilla is cheese melted between two soft taco shells. A burrito is meat, rice, cheese and typically beans rolled inside a soft taco shell. So now lets take that quesadilla and roll the burrito filling inside it. We’ll leave out the cheese in that filling and replace it with chipotle sauce and sour cream. Maybe it’s just as, but FoodFacts.com really can’t wrap our heads around the combination. It just doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead it sounds more like a wet, gooey roll with beef and rice. In all fairness we haven’t tasted it … and we’re not going to. For us, this is one mash-up we’ll be happy to miss.

Just in case you want to try it, though, we thought we should fill you in on the nutrition facts for the Quesarito.

Calories:                          650
Fat:                                  34 g.
Saturated Fat:                12 g.
Cholesterol:                    60 mg.
Sodium:                          1450 mg.

The quick assessment for the Quesarito is that the facts are just not good. But let’s go a little further. You can actually eat a Big Mac (which is definitely not a healthy choice) for better nutritional value. Specifically a Big Mac contains 100 less calories, 6 fewer grams of fat, 2 less grams of saturated fat and and 480 fewer mg. of sodium. The only thing the Big Mac gives you more of is cholesterol.

So not only do we not think this odd mash-up works, even bad fast food is better for you (even if it’s only minimally). Taco Bell, this is really just a bad interpretation of Mexican food. It doesn’t work.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/quesarito?gclid=COGswdeh_b4CFUNgMgodYykAgA

What’s really in the beef served at Taco Bell?

Taco Bell Beef IngredientsFast food is one of our pet peeves here at FoodFacts.com. We try to keep up with the newest introductions from the major chains and bring our community members the facts about nutritional content and ingredients. Those reports generally aren’t positive – and this one is no different.

Today we’re talking about Taco Bell beef. Shouldn’t be a tremendous problem, should it? But sometimes beef isn’t simply beef. Taco Bell admits that its product is 88 percent beef. Read below to find out what makes up the other 12 percent:

According to Taco Bell’s website, the company says that the mystery ingredients have “weird names” but they’re “all safe and approved by the FDA,” ABC News reports.

“Each ingredient helps make our Seasoned Beef taste great. Many of them are items you might use at home such as salt, peppers, and spices. Ingredients like oats and sodium phosphates help make sure the texture is right,” Taco Bell officials said.
The company also said it uses only USDA-inspected, “100 percent premium real beef” and no monosodium glutamate, or MSG, which is a flavor enhancer.
“We believe it’s important that consumers make informed decisions about what they eat, and so for many years have provided details of our ingredients on our website,” Rob Poetsch, Taco Bell spokesman, told ABCNews.com.

Here are some of the ingredients and what Taco Bell has to say about them:

1. MALTODEXTRIN
“It sounds weird, but it’s actually a form of mildly sweet sugar we use to balance the flavor. You may have had it the last time you had a natural soda,” Taco Bell says.

2. TORULA YEAST
“This is a form of yeast that gives our seasoned beef a more savory taste,” the company says.

3. MODIFIED CORN STARCH
“Actually, it’s derived from corn, which is a food staple in Mexican culture as well as many others. We use a small amount as a thickener and to maintain moisture in our seasoned beef. It’s common in many foods like yogurt,” Taco Bell states.

4. SOY LECITHIN
“When you prepare as much seasoned beef as we do, you don’t want it to separate. That’s what soy lecithin does. It helps (with moisture) to bind substances that would otherwise separate — like oil and water. It’s a common ingredient in many grocery staples, like chocolate bars and salad dressings,” says Taco Bell.

5. SODIUM PHOSPHATES
Taco Bell says it uses this “to help make sure our seasoned beef is the right texture.”
“They’re also commonly found in deli items, cheeses, coffee drinks and desserts,” the company says.

6. LACTIC ACID
Taco Bell says, “This safe acid occurs in almost all living things, and we use a very small amount to manage the acidity to get the right flavor.”

7. CARAMEL COLOR AND COCOA POWDER
Taco Bell says the caramel color “is caramelized sugar, which is a commonly used food coloring (also found in cereals and pancake syrup). Cocoa Powder doesn’t add any flavor to our recipe, but it helps our seasoned beef maintain a rich color.”

8. TREHALOSE
Taco Bell: “It’s a naturally occurring sugar that we use to improve the taste of our seasoned beef.”

We were especially disturbed by Taco Bell’s explanation of caramel color because it isn’t simply caramelized sugar. Two of the four types of caramel color used in food products contain known carcinogens, so the simple term “caramelized sugar” is truly misleading.

In addition, that statement about Taco Bell providing detailed ingredient information on their website … well, we guess that really depends on your idea of detailed. This is what we found on their site regarding their seasoned beef: made with 100% premium beef, seasoned with our signature recipe. We don’t see any ingredient details in that statement.

FoodFacts.com is (as could be expected) not excited about Taco Bell’s detailed statement regarding the ingredients in their beef. We actually expect beef to be just that … beef. And we expect seasonings to be things like salt, cayenne pepper, chili peppers, garlic, cilantro or any of a host of other actual seasoning. We’re pretty certain that most in our community feel the same. A little ingredient insight goes a long way. Taco Bell can do better. Consumers deserve it.

http://www.10news.com/entertainment/around-the-web/taco-bell-reveals-its-mystery-beef-ingredients-043014

Let’s take a look at Taco Bell for breakfast

Taco Bell Breakfast A.M. Crunch Wrap BaconWe’ve been hearing about it for months and now it’s finally here. Taco Bell breakfast is being served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day of the week. As expected, the morning offerings all present a new twist on Mexican flavors. The new breakfast items bring Taco Bell in direct competition with McDonald’s and Burger King, both of whom own mornings in the fast food world.

So, will Taco Bell breakfasts present a serious alternative to the already established fast food leaders? FoodFacts.com isn’t really sure about that. The only thing we can be sure of right now is what you’ll actually be eating if you choose to sit down at Taco Bell for your morning meal.

We chose the A.M. Crunch Wrap with Bacon to focus on because it appears to be a Mexican interpretation of a traditional fast food breakfast sandwich. Just replace the biscuit, or the English muffin, or the bagel with a tortilla and add some creamy jalapeno sauce. While we’re pretty certain you won’t find the A.M. Crunch Wrap in Mexico, these are the American fast food wars. Let’s find out what the A.M. Crunch Wrap brings to the table.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:      660
Fat:              41 g
Sodium:    1280 mg

Might as well have a burger for breakfast, don’t you think? A McDonald’s Egg McMuffin weighs in at 330 fewer calories, 29 fewer grams of fat and 460 fewer mg of sodium.

Let’s see what the ingredient list tells us:

Eggs (Eggs Whole, Flavors Butter [Soybeans Oil, Soybeans Oil Hydrogenated, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Flavoring Artificial and Natural, Beta Carotene, TBHQ, Citric Acid,Polydimethylsiloxane] , Contains 1% or less of the following: [Salt, Citric Acid, Peppers,Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum] ) , Hashbrowns (Potatoes, Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil,Palm Oil, Soybeans Oil, Sunflower Oil, Potatoes Dehydrated, Salt, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate, Dextrose, Oil [Canola Oil High Oleic Low Linolenic, TBHQ,Polydimethylsiloxane] , Bacon Topping [Bacon Topping, Cured with Water] , Creamy Jalapeno Sauce [Soybeans Oil, Water, Vinegar, Peppers Jalapenos, Buttermilk, Sour Cream Powder,Eggs Yolks, Dextrose, Spices, Peppers Chili, Salt, Glucono Delta Lactone, Onions Dehydrated,Flavors Natural, Paprika, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Garlic Powder, Cocoa Powder,Calcium Disodium EDTA] , Tortillas [Wheat Enriched Bleached Flour, Water, Vegetables Shortening]

Plenty of controversial ingredients in that list, not to mention hidden MSG. Generally not our idea of an ideal morning meal.

If we want a Mexican-inspired breakfast, we’d prefer cracking some eggs, adding some jalapeno peppers with the appropriate herbs and scrambling them up in a pan in our kitchen. We’re pretty positive the flavors will be far better and we absolutely KNOW the ingredients will be too.

http://www.foodfacts.com/ci/nutritionfacts/Specialties/Taco-Bell-AM-Crunch-Wrap–Bacon-1-crunchwrap/92161

Taco Bell introduces new Grilled “Stuft” Nacho

While we know that we probably have a different view of food products than average consumers, FoodFacts.com has always held to the unspoken rule that when manufacturers use “creative spelling” within the name of a product, odds are it’s not going to be good. The product in question will most likely have an unpleasant ingredient list with more than a few items we don’t like or it will be unreasonably loaded with fat, sugar or salt. It’s a general observation we’ve been able to make over the last decade or so and it’s pretty much held true across the board. Can you think of any product that spells cheese “Cheez” that you’d actually volunteer to consume? That’s just one example that readily comes to mind.

Now, Taco Bell is promoting their latest product … the Grilled “Stuft” Nacho. And we have to admit that even before attempting to research this new offering, we were tipped off by the “creative spelling” of the word stuffed. While we’re trying to nail down the ingredient information for this one, we haven’t come up with much yet. Except that Taco Bell is claiming five ingredients. Seasoned beef, warm nacho cheese sauce, their new zesty nacho sauce, crunchy red strips and cool reduced-fat sour cream.

O.k. before we even get to the idea that we have no idea what’s actually in the two varieties of nacho cheese sauce, we just need to ask … what the heck are crunchy red strips???? What are they supposed to taste like??? Tortillas, red peppers, tomatoes, maybe???? All by itself, this ingredient is rather off-putting, even for fast food.

This product shouldn’t be confused with nachos. In the first place, the serving is one Grilled Stuft Nacho. It’s a triangle-shaped tortilla shell (the shape of a tortilla chip). That shell is grilled and then stuffed with the aforementioned ingredients.

While we couldn’t get any further along with the ingredients, we did get the nutrition facts for an item that’s priced more like a snack than your average fast food lunch. Did we mention it only costs $1.29. Since it’s priced along the lines of a McDonald’s Snack Wrap, we’re going with the idea that the Grilled Stuft Nacho isn’t actually intended to be a lunch item. But frankly, you may as well have a Big Mac or a Whopper instead.

One Grilled Stuft Nacho has a super-sized calorie count of 570 with 32g of fat, 7g of saturated fat and 960mg of sodium. That’s the same kind of nutrition information you’ll find associated with the biggest of burgers at most of the popular fast food chains.

We’re happy to say that our old rule-of-thumb regarding “creative spellings” has held up once again. You can usually consider it code for “what’s in here is so bad for you that we can’t actually call it by its real name.”

http://herald-review.com/blogs/decaturade/eating-badly-taco-bell-s-new-grilled-stuft-nacho/article_ea647faa-fd36-59e5-af6e-23e8c862aa8a.html

Fast Foods and Food Stamps?

blog.foodfacts.com to learn more!

Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

Approximately 45 million low-income Americans are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program which provides food stamps to purchase produce, meats, dairy, breads, and packaged foods. There has been much controversy over which foods should actually be allowed to be purchased with food stamps based on nutritional value. Currently, items such as sodas, candy, and chips are able to be purchased, despite seeing trends in the rising obesity epidemic which is largely seen in low-income communities.

Recently, the Yum! Corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Long John Silver’s have been lobbying to have their fast food restaurants included within food stamp programs. They’ve caught on to the increasing use of food stamps during these rough economic years and would like to take full advantage of the opportunity.

What are people saying about this? Some anti-hunger coalitions are actually encouraging it! They’re reasoning, not everyone can get to a grocery store, so a fast food restaurant may be the optimal choice for some. At Foodfacts.com, we’re aware that many people are facing a tough financial time. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to recommend a 2 minute walk to get a KFC Double Down, when you may have some access to whole foods with proper nutritional value.

In good news, many public health organizations are rallying against this movement. They argue that the more revenue these fast-food chains bring in, the more health complications we see, and the higher price we pay later on. Try to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods as much as possible!

(Foodfacts.com)

Do you know what’s in your Taco??

taco-bell-logo-font-2

Foodfacts.com takes a closer look at what’s really in a some Taco Bell products. By simply looking at the Nachos Bell Grande at Taco Bell, some would think there are maybe 5 or 6 ingredients. There’s the sour cream, layers of nacho cheese, mountain of tortilla chips, some tomatoes, little bit of chive, and topped off with ground beef. In reality, this menu item contains about 125 ingredients; some of which aren’t ideal, and may possibly cause some hazardous health effects. At Food Facts we like to point out these controversial ingredients and help consumers become more aware of what’s REALLY in their food.

tacobellnachosbellgrande

Let’s start off with autolyzed yeast extract, because many people may be unfamiliar with this ingredient, and coincidentally it is in all three featured products. This ingredient naturally contains glutamic acid, a flavor enhancer. Therefore, most types of yeast extract are used as food additives to help give flavor to different products. In autolyzed yeast extract, sodium chloride is added during the fermentation process to create monosodium glutamate, commonly referred to as MSG.

Most consumers are very familiar with MSG because it has received a great deal of attention in recent years. This ingredient can be found in salad dressings, mixed seasonings, snacks, chips, beef stocks, and much more. With the increased popularity of this product, came increased reports of migraine headaches, dizziness, nausea, and so on. In fact, all the symptoms of MSG can be categorized as “MSG Symptom Complex”, because there is a large variety of symptoms that may occur. Also, some people may also have intolerance to MSG, so be careful to check food labels for monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, and other hidden MSG forms.

The Burrito Supreme at Taco Bell is another menu-favorite. Aside from this item providing a hefty dose of the recommended daily value for sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol; it also contains a variety of controversial ingredients you may not be aware of. burrito-supremeThe one ingredient some may be curious about is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. Not only is this ingredient a mouth-full, it is also a phenol used as a food additive to enhance storage life of different products. Although deemed safe by the FDA, certain studies have shown that high doses of TBHQ are not only carcinogenic, but may also cause damage to DNA and promote growth of tumors. Make sure to read food labels carefully for this food additive.

Crunchy tacos are a staple for the Taco Bell franchise. Although these more basic items contain less controversial ingredients, they still include hidden MSG and TBHQ. taco-bell-beefTheir nutrition label also displays high amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, which consumers should carefully monitor when eating at any fast-food restaurant.