If you want to know what Taco Bell actually uses in its "beef" products, here's an ingredients list of their "Taco Meat Filling," courtesy of Gizmodo:
"Water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder …
…autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2 percent of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate."
The filling also includes 36 percent beef. The other 64 percent consist of the ingredients listed above.
According to the USDA, this can't be called "beef" at all, which is why it comes in a big package labeled "Taco Meat Filling."
Now an Alabama law firm is presenting Taco Bell with a lawsuit for false advertising for claiming they sell "beef" products. But Taco Bell might be in violation of the law even if they sold "Taco Meat Filling" burritos. The USDA says that any food labeled as "meat taco filling" should at least have 40 percent fresh meat; Taco Bell's contains only 36 percent.
Taco Bell, meanwhile, says the lawsuit is based on "false statements," and that they are "proud of the quality of their beef." They plan to take their own legal action in response.