Category Archives: taco bell

Taco Bell’s new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken – it really is too much

pdp-smothered-burrito-chickenIf you’ve heard about the new Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken from Taco Bell and you’re considering giving it a go, FoodFacts.com would like to suggest that you wander over to the Taco Bell website and do a little research before you indulge.

What you’ll find is an image of the burrito that honestly looks just a bit over the top. One look at that image and you have to know that the nutrition facts and the ingredient list won’t be good because the product itself is really just too much … of everything. Here’s the Taco Bell description, “Our Smothered Burrito is filled with shredded chicken, premium Latin rice, hearty beans, and creamy chipotle sauce. Then it’s smothered with red sauce, loads of melted cheeses and topped with reduced-fat sour cream. Also available with seasoned beef or marinated premium thick-cut steak.”

Here are the nutrition facts:

Calories:                         640
Fat:                                  27 grams
Saturated Fat:               9 grams
Sodium:                         2,220 mg

Just imagine what the seasoned beef and steak versions look like! The sodium content in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken is waaay too high and the calories are pushing it for a menu item featuring chicken. Why bother? Taco Bell has lost the appeal of featuring chicken in a product when the nutritional benefits are completely buried by everything else going on.
And here’s the everything else that’s going on in the Smothered Burrito with Shredded Chicken:

Ingredients:
Red Sauce: Water, seasoning (modified cornstarch, maltodextrin, paprika (VC), salt, tomato powder, onion powder, spices, garlic powder, natural flavors (contains gluten), xanthan gum, malic acid, caramel color (C), ascorbic acid, citric acid, trehalose)., Shredded Chicken: Chicken breast, water, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, tomato powder, modified potato starch, garlic powder, dextrose, paprika (VC), onion powder, spices, maltodextrin, citric acid, safflower oil, disodium inosinate & guanylate, vinegar, sugar, soy lecithin), canola oil, rosemary extract (P). Contains: Soy, Flour Tortilla: Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable shortening (soybean, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil), sugar, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophophate), molasses, dough conditioner (fumaric acid, distilled monoglycerides, enzymes, wheat starch, calcium carbonate), calcium propionate, sorbic acid, and/or potassium sorbate (P). Contains: Wheat, Refried Beans: Pinto beans, soybean oil, seasoning (salt, sugar, spice, beet powder (VC), natural flavors, sunflower oil, maltodextrin, corn flour, trehalose, modified cornstarch).,Premium Latin Rice: Enriched long grain rice, seasoning (salt, natural flavor, sugar, maltodextrin, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried cilantro, disodium inosinate & guanylate)., Three Cheese Blend: Part skim mozzerella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey pepper jack cheese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, water, cream, sodium citrate, jalapeno peppers, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic Acid (P)), anti-caking agent. Contains: Milk, Reduced-Fat Sour Cream: Milk, cream, modified corn starch, contains less than 1% of modified tapioca starch, maltodextrin, gelatin, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, citric acid, potassium sorbate (P), natural and artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, locust bean gum, carrageenan, vitamin A. Contains: Milk, Creamy Chipotle Sauce: Soybean oil, water, egg yolk, vinegar, sour cream, chipotle peppers, contains 1% or less of chili peppers, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, sugar, salt, natural flavors (including smoke flavor), xanthan gum, canola and sesame oil, propylene glycol alginate, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P). Contains: Egg, Milk

How’s that for a too-long ingredient list? Double-digit controversial ingredients. And honestly, even some of the ingredients that aren’t considered controversial are somewhat disturbing. Tomato powder, anyone?

We don’t think anyone should ever be this hungry. Sorry, Taco Bell.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/Smothered-Burrito

More bacon … this time from Taco Bell with the Bacon Club Chalupa

pdp-Bacon-Club-Chalupa-2015Did you know that a chalupa is described as a tostada platter? It is a Mexican specialty of south-central Mexico, including the states of Puebla,Guerrero and Oaxaca. Chalupas nad is made by pressing a thin layer of masa dough around the outside of a small mold, in the process creating a concave container resembling the boat of the same name, and then deep frying the result to produce crisp, shallow corn cups.

If you’re a Taco Bell fan, odds are you didn’t know that because the Taco Bell Chalupa doesn’t remotely resemble that description. And their Bacon Club Chalupa doesn’t resemble anything remotely Mexican.

Welcome the Bacon Club Chalupa back to the menu. Bacon. Again. We’ve been reporting on waaaay too many fast food items featuring bacon. We’re guessing this is supposed to be like a Mexican club sandwich.

FoodFacts.com looked a little further into it and discovered the following significant information:

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                  470
Fat:                           29 grams
Saturated Fat:        6 grams
Sodium :                 870 mg

Fat and salt are abundant here. While good old American club sandwiches sound like fresh, healthy meal choices when you’re sitting in a diner, they most often contain the same abundance of fat and salt. Mimicking them in a Mexican reincarnation certainly doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Here’s what it takes to make a Bacon Club Chalupa:

Chalupa Shell: Enriched wheat flour, malted barley flour, water, soybean oil, yeast, sugar, vital wheat gluten, contains 1% or less of, salt, corn syrup solids, oat fiber, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, mono and di-glycerides), baking powder, soy protein isolate, enzymes, calcium propionate (P). Prepared in canola oil. Contains: Wheat, Soy, Fire Grilled Chicken: Chicken, water, seasoning (maltodextrin, dried garlic, salt, spices, natural flavor, carrageenan, dried onion, disodium inosinate & guanylate, citric acid, caramel color (C), garlic powder, onion powder), modified food starch, sodium phosphates, salt., Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes., Avocado Ranch Sauce: Soybean oil, buttermilk, water, avocado, vinegar, enzyme modified egg yolk, garlic juice, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, spices, natural flavor, lactic acid, lemon and lime juice concentrate, disodium inosinate, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (P), propylene glycol alginate, xanthan gum, calcium disodium EDTA (PF), blue 1 (C). Contains: Milk, Eggs, Bacon: Bacon cured with water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, flavor (including smoke flavor), sodum nitrite (P)., Iceberg Lettuce: Fresh iceberg lettuce, Three Cheese Blend: Part skim mozzerella cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey pepper jack cheeese (cultured pasteurized milk, salt, enzymes, water, cream, sodium citrate, jalapeno peppers, salt, sodium phosphate, lactic acid, sorbic Acid (P)), anti-caking agent. Contains: Milk

With far too many controversial ingredients, this option from Taco Bell isn’t the best idea for anyone. We’d really love to see Taco Bell rethink their some of their product introductions. Perhaps if they concentrated more on better ingredients and staying true to their original theme, we’d find better options here. This just isn’t appealing. Sorry, Taco Bell.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/Bacon-Club-Chalupa

Only at Taco Bell … the new Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast

Dew_Sangrita_FtnIt’s only at Taco Bell. Honestly, that’s too much as it is. This new drink is that special.

Take a look at the image on the Taco Bell site. It’s red soda. Hence the “Sangrita” reference we suppose. And all we can say is please don’t drink this.

If you visit the Pepsico website, you’ll find that you can choose a custom size in order to determine the nutrition facts. FoodFacts.com quickly figured out that this was the way Pepsico could have consumers believe that this new beverage isn’t so bad. Unfortunately, most folks in a fast food restaurant aren’t drinking 8 ou. Beverages. So for the purpose of this post, we’ve customized our nutrition facts for the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast to a 16 ou. Beverage with 25% ice in our cup.
Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                 190
Fat:                          0 grams
Sugar:                     53 grams

In every 16 ou. cup, you’ll find 13 and a quarter teaspoons of sugar. But FoodFacts.com knew that it couldn’t end there. There’s more to discover about the Mountain Dew Sangrita Blast. And it certainly has everything to do with what meets the eye. Anytime we see an oddly colored food or beverage, we can pretty much count on the idea that we are not going to like the ingredient list. And we certainly weren’t wrong about that here.

CARBONATED WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM CITRATE, GUM ARABIC, CAFFEINE, RED 40, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVES FRESHNESS), CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (TO PROTECT FLAVOR),GLYCEROL ESTER OF ROSIN, SUCROSE ACETATE ISOBUTYRATE, BLUE 1

Red 40 and Blue 1 are what you’re seeing in that image. They’re accompanied by high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, calcium disodium EDTA and caffeine.

The world did not need a brand new chemical concoction to ingest … especially not one with over 13 teaspoons of sugar. Needless to say, we won’t be going near this.

http://www.pepsicobeveragefacts.com/home/product?formula=F0000002029&form=FTN&size=8

Big news from Taco Bell and Pizza Hut: Artificial colors and flavors on the way out

Taco Bell, Pizza HutFoodFacts.com is committed to recognizing the efforts of food manufacturers, fast food chains and fast casual restaurants responding to consumer demands for better quality food choices. So these announcements from both Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are the subject of today’s blog.

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut say they’re getting rid of artificial colors and flavors, making them the latest big food companies scrambling to distance themselves from ingredients people might find unappetizing.

Instead of “black pepper flavor,” for instance, Taco Bell will start using actual black pepper in its seasoned beef, says Liz Matthews, the chain’s chief food innovation officer.

The Mexican-style chain also says the artificial dye Yellow No. 6 will be removed from its nacho cheese, Blue No. 1 will be removed from its avocado ranch dressing and carmine, a bright pigment, will be removed from its red tortilla strips.

Matthews said some of the new recipes are being tested in select markets and should be in stores nationally by the end of the year.

The country’s biggest food makers are facing pressure from smaller rivals that position themselves as more wholesome alternatives. Chipotle in particular has found success in marketing itself as an antidote to traditional fast food, although some question the meaningfulness of some of its claims. In April, Chipotle announced it had removed genetically modified organisms from its food, even though the Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe.

Critics say the purging of chemicals is a response to unfounded fears over ingredients, but companies are nevertheless rushing to ensure their recipes don’t become marketing disadvantages. In recent months, restaurant chains including Panera, McDonald’s and Subway have said they’re switching to ingredients people can easily recognize.

John Coupland, a professor of food science at Penn State University, said companies are realizing some ingredients may not be worth the potential harm they might cause to their images, given changing attitudes about additives.

Additionally, he noted that the removal of artificial ingredients can be a way for companies to give their food a healthy glow without making meaningful changes to their nutritional profiles. For instance, Coupland said reducing salt, sugar or portion sizes would have a far bigger impact on public health.

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are owned by Yum Brands Inc., which had hinted the changes would be on the way. At a conference for investors late last year, Yum CEO Greg Creed referred to the shifting attitudes and the desire for “real food” as a revolution in the industry.

Representatives at KFC and Yum’s corporate headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky were not immediately available to comment on whether the fried chicken chain would also be removing artificial ingredients.

Pizza Hut says it will remove artificial colors and preservatives by the end of July.

Taco Bell says it will take out artificial colors, artificial flavors, high-fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from its food by the end of 2015. It says artificial preservatives will be removed “where possible” by 2017. The moves do not affect fountain drinks or co-branded products, such as its Doritos-flavored taco shells.

Brian Niccol, the chain’s CEO, said price increases are based on a variety of factors, and that the company would work to keep its menu affordable.

“I do not want to lose any element of being accessible to the masses,” Niccol said.

When asked whether the changes would affect taste, a representative for Taco Bell said in an email that “It will be the same great tasting Taco Bell that people love.”

While we do think both chains have a long way to go in terms of the ingredients they are using in their foods, this is certainly a step in the right direction. We’ll be curious to examine ingredient lists once these changes have gone into effect. Thanks to the stated time lines, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to take a fresh look.

Every food manufacturer, fast food giant and fast casual restaurant needs to take a good long look at their ingredient lists and LISTEN to the consumers who are making their voices clearly heard. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are following the voices of those that mean success for their brands. It’s the smart thing to do. Let’s see who’s next to react to the wake-up call.

http://krqe.com/2015/05/30/taco-bell-pizza-hut-artificial-ingredients-getting-booted/

Taco Bell’s new Chipotle Chickstar almost makes a Big Mac look good

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.11.15 PMAnother new one from Taco Bell proves that fast food chicken sandwiches can, in fact, be a poorer nutritional choice than a fast food burger. This time we have Chipotle Chickstars.

It’s basically a chicken sandwich wrapped in a tortilla that’s grilled. The website describes it this way, “A warm, soft, flour tortilla filled with new premium all-white-meat crispy chicken that’s marinated in bold Mexican spices, rolled in a crunchy corn tortilla coating, and crisped to perfection combined with creamy chipotle sauce, real cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes and then wrapped up and grilled for maximum portability.” Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it?

Let’s see what we can find out about this “unique” new chicken sandwich …

Nutrition Facts:
Calories:                 760
Fat:                          43 grams
Saturated Fat:       8 grams
Sodium:                 1650 mg

WOW. There is no one eating this chicken sandwich who should be thinking that it’s better than other alternatives being served. You could actually consume less calories from a Big Mac at McDonald’s than from the Chipotle Chickstar — not to mention fat and sodium.

What about the ingredients?

CRISPY CHICKEN Chicken White Meat, Water, Seasoning [Maltodextrin, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Tomato Powder, Sugar, Vinegar Solids, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Citric Acid, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Oil, Garlic Powder, Jalapeno Juice Solids, Chicken Powder, Gum Arabic, Chicken Fat, Acetic Acid, Modified Corn Starch, Smoke Flavor, and Grill Flavor (from Sunflower Oil)], Salt, Rice Starch, and Sodium Phosphate. BREADED WITH: Wheat Flour, Tortilla Pieces (Corn, Vegetable Oil {Corn, Soybean, and/or Sunflower Oil], Dextrose, Salt, Dried Yeast, Roasted Barley Flour, Annatto Extract (color). BATTERED WITH: Water, Bleached Wheat Flour, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Spices, Disodium, Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dried Onion, and Dried Garlic. PREDUSTED WITH: Bleached Wheat Flour, Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Spices, Disodium, Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dried Onion, and Dried Garlic. CONTAINS: Wheat CHIPOTLE SAUCE Soybean Oil, Water, Egg Yolk, Distilled Vinegar, Sour Cream (Cream, Modified Corn Starch, Gelatin, Lactic Acid, Guar Gum, Mono & Di Glycerides, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavor), Chili Peppers, Salt, Sugar, Chipotle Peppers, Garlic Including Dehyrated, Natural Flavors Including Smoke Flavor, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate Added As Preservatives, Xanthan Gum, Onion*, Mustard Seed, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch, Jalapeno Peppers*, Calcium Disodium EDTA To Protect Flavor, Canola and Sesame Oil. *Dehydrated CONTAINS EGG, MILK CHEDDAR CHEESE Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Color), Anti-Caking Agent. CONTAINS MILK LETTUCE Iceberg Lettuce TOMATO Tomatoes TORTILLA Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Contains less than 2% of the following: Sugar, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Fumaric Acid, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid (used as preservatives), Yeast, Molasses, Dough Conditioner [Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch and Calcium Carbonate with Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, and Citric Acid (added as Antioxidants)] CONTAINS: WHEAT

FoodFacts.com feels badly for the poor innocent chicken used in this sandwich. Inherently, consumers hear chicken sandwich and automatically relate the sandwich to healthier options. Lean protein, less calories. We understand the dilemma and hope that posts like this can help make it abundantly clear that not all chicken is equal after processing and the addition of a strange and very controversial list of ingredients.

The Big Mac is NOT a healthy choice for anyone — but it’s still better than the Chipotle Chickstar from Taco Bell. And that is saying a mouthful.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/specialties/Chipotle-Chickstar

The new Taco Bell Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Taco feature 15 ingredient scrambled eggs

0326_waffle_taco_970Scrambled eggs should be just that … fresh eggs scrambled in a pan with some butter and a little salt and pepper. That’s it. In the Taco Bell breakfast menu, though, it’s not that simple. The scrambled eggs millions of consumers are eating from Taco Bell contain 15 ingredients.

The new Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Taco features these rather complicated, anything but fresh scrambled eggs. Those eggs are stuffed in a biscuit folded to look like a taco. Is it our imagination, or does this new offering from Taco Bell resemble a biscuit sandwich turned on its side? Not the most innovative introduction.

Just in case this sounds like an actual breakfast option to you, FoodFacts.com thought we’d investigate the nutrition factst and ingredient list to see how the new Taco Bell Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit Taco stands up.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:                           430
Fat:                                    28 grams
Saturated Fat:                 11 grams
Cholesterol:                     120 mg
Sodium:                           740 mg

Featuring the ingredient list is a complicated issue. We’re pretty sure Taco Bell likes it that way. Here’s the best we can do from the ingredient statement on their website.

EGGS
Whole Eggs, Butter Flavor (Liquid And Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color), TBHQ And Citric Acid Added To Protect Flavor, Dimethylpolysiloxane, An Anti-foaming Agent Added). Contains Less Than 1% Of The Following: Salt, Citric Acid, Pepper, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum. CONTAINS: EGGS, MILK AND SOYBEANS

BISCUIT TACO SHELL
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk (Cultured Pasteurized Part Skim Milk, Nonfat Milk, Salt), Interesterified Soybean Oil, Cultured Butter (Cream, Lactic Acid), Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Corn Starch, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Soybean Oil. Contains: Wheat, Milk, Soy

SAUSAGE PATTY
Pork, Seasoning (Salt, Corn Syrup Solids, Spices, Dextrose, Caramel Color, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor And Less Than 2% Soybean Oil And Silicon Dioxide Added As Processing Aids), And Water
CHEDDAR CHEESE
Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto (Color), Anti-Caking Agent. CONTAINS MILK

We’re a little picky about our food. We think that eggs ARE ingredients — they don’t contain ingredients.

We’ll pick up breakfast someplace else.

http://www.tacobell.com/breakfast/

Taco Bell introduces the Country Grilled Breakfast Burrito with Sausage

menu_item_country-grilled-breakfast-burritoThe Taco Bell breakfast menu keeps right on growing. The latest offering is the new Country Grilled Breakfast Burrito with Sausage.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, here’s the description from the website:

A warm flour tortilla filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, delicious sausage, seasoned breakfast potatoes and warm country gravy, wrapped up and grilled to seal in all the flavors.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Let’s hold on though. FoodFacts.com thinks we shouldn’t form an opinion about the new breakfast burrito until we look at the nutrition facts and ingredients.

Calories:                          340
Fat:                                   13 grams
Saturated Fat:                3 grams
Sodium:                          810 grams

We’ve certainly seen worse. It’s not great, but it’s not out of the realm of other fast food breakfast sandwiches either.

Let’s not forget about the ingredient list. But before we review it, we want to mention that if you’re having difficulty locating ingredients on the Taco Bell website, you’ll need to piece the ingredients together from the list you’ll find in the Ingredient Statement in the Nutrition section of the website. It’s a bit onerous, but you can put it all together. So here we go:

Flour tortilla: Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Contains less than 2% of the following: Sugar, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Fumaric Acid, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid (used as preservatives), Yeast, Molasses, Dough Conditioner [Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch and Calcium Carbonate with Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, and Citric Acid (added as Antioxidants)] CONTAINS: WHEAT Fluffy Scrambled Eggs: Whole Eggs, Butter Flavor (Liquid And Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color), TBHQ And Citric Acid Added To Protect Flavor, Dimethylpolysiloxane, An Anti-foaming Agent Added). Contains Less Than 1% Of The Following: Salt, Citric Acid, Pepper, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum. CONTAINS: EGGS, MILK AND SOYBEANS, Sausage: Pork, Seasoning (Salt, Corn Syrup Solids, Spices, Dextrose, Caramel Color, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavor, And Less Than 2% Soybean Oil And Silicon Dioxide Added As Processing Aids), And Water, Breakfast Potatoes: Potatoes, Contains One Or More Of The Following: (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil), Dehydrated Potato, Salt, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate (To Promote Color Retention), Dextrose. Oil: High Oleic Low Linolenic Canola Oil, TBHQ (To Protect Flavor), Dimethylpolysiloxane (An Antifoaming Agent). Hash Browns do not contain wheat proteins; however, they are fried in the same oil with ingredients containing wheat proteins. Country Gravy: Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Whey, Modified Corn Starch, Non Dairy Creamer (Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin), Nonfat Dry Milk, Maltodextrin (Corn, Potato), Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Spices, Color (Titanium Dioxide, Annatto, Turmeric), Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavors (contains milk), Dehydrated Butter, Carrot Powder, Dextrose, Torula Yeast, and Less Than 2% Each of Silicone Dioxide and Soybean Oil Added As Processing Aids. CONTAINS: MILK, WHEAT, SOYBEANS

We should mention that in trying to weave together these ingredients from the long list in the Ingredient Statement, we couldn’t find Breakfast Potatoes, only Hash Browns. And the only gravy listed was “Breakfast Gravy” not Country Gravy, as listed in the description. So we put the list together from what we could glean from the statement. We’ve done our best with the information available, and our best doesn’t look so great from where we stand. TBHQ, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavors. We could think of more than a few things we’d rather eat.

Pretty typical fast food. It’s easy enough to prepare a breakfast burrito at home with ingredients we know and trust. That’s what we’ll do in the event we’re craving one.

Sorry Taco Bell. And just in case you read this, it would really be great if you could make it easier to match ingredients to menu items. Transparency is best when it’s actually transparent. We don’t think you’d really want anyone to think that you’re trying to confuse them, would you?

http://www.tacobell.com/breakfast/
http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/ingredientstatement

Taco Bell’s Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch

pdp-dlt-cheesy-gordita-crunch-nacho-cheeseWe’ll admit it. We don’t really understand the Taco Bell Doritos marriage. For FoodFacts.com it honestly feels like its overkill. Doritos have a powerful flavor (strong and artificial). And most Taco Bell products are also powerfully flavored. We honestly don’t see the attraction involved in putting the two together.

So right from the start the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch isn’t something we’d be excited about eating — even if we were fast food fans.

Taco Bell describes the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch like this, “Warm, pillowy flatbread covered in a melted three-cheese blend, wrapped around a Doritos® taco and topped with a zesty Pepper Jack sauce.”

A gordita is a Mexican flatbread made from cornmeal and stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables or a sweet filling. In Spanish gordita means “little flat one.” We’d like to point out that we don’t know if the Taco Bell Gordita is made with cornmeal. We’d also like to point out that an actual gordita is not wrapped around a taco — much less a taco that is flavored like a Dorito. Without the taco, though, it wouldn’t be the Gordita Crunch.

While we can’t give you the ingredient list just yet, we can give you the nutrition facts:

Calories:                         490
Fat:                                 28 grams
Saturated Fat:               10 grams
Sodium:                         880 mg

Those facts are actually pretty similar to plenty of other fast food items. McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger, Burger King Tendergrill Chicken Sandwich, and a whole host of other fast food items stack up the same way.

Taco Bell’s Doritos Cheesy Gordita Nacho Cheese Crunch is the nutritional equivalent of typical fast food fare that includes an odd combination of items that are neither authentically Mexican or particularly appealing. We’re not trying this one!

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/doritos-cheesy-gordita-crunch-nacho-cheese

Taco Bell making fast food faster … sort of

141028101756-taco-bell-app-620xaThese days there really is an app for everything. There are mobile coupon apps from major supermarkets, apps from manufacturers offering deals and discounts, apps for travelers looking for deals at their intended locations. The lists are endless. So it isn’t any surprise that fast food chains are introducing their own apps. Up until now, though, we haven’t been able to order from fast food restaurants directly from our smartphones. That’s all changing.

Taco Bell is the latest company to jump into the app craze.

Taco Bell has unveiled a new app that allows customers anywhere in the country to place their orders using their iPhones and Androids. They still have to go the restaurant to pick up their Doritos Locos in person, though.

“You get to skip the line,” said Jeff Jenkins, director of mobile experience at Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands.

But he said there’s no feature to select a pickup time because the food won’t be prepared until the customer arrives.

So what’s the point of using the app? Jenkins said both restaurant and customer will both get a heads up from the app once you get close to the Taco Bell.

“When you get within 500 feet of the location, you get a notification on your phone that says, ‘Looks like you’ve arrived. Would you like us to start preparing your food?’” he said.

Taco Bell is also promoting the fact that app-ordering customers can customize their orders, by adding or omitting ingredients.

Taco Bell’s move comes close in the heels of Starbucks , which announced its app earlier this month. The Starbucks app, which will debut in Portland later this year and go nationwide in 2015, allows customers to place their coffee orders via iPhone.

Other fast food companies have apps, though they don’t necessarily allow customers to place orders via smartphone. McDonald’s has the McD App, which is primarily for learning about special offers and locating restaurants.

Wendy’s has an app that allows customers to pay for meals via smartphone, but they have to go to the restaurant to do it. Customers deposit money into their phone’s Wendy’s account for that purpose. The maximum balance is $100, which buys about 20 Baconators, depending on the location.

FoodFacts.com is pretty sure that ordering fast food via app will mature and grow into the whole experience — place your order by smartphone, pay for it by smartphone, go to the nearest location and pick up your order seamlessly. We’re not there yet. Taco Bell’s new app might save fast food consumers a little time — but it probably won’t be much. We’ll just have to wait a little while longer for the fast food industry to help their customers consume bad food in record time!

http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/28/news/companies/taco-bell-app/

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