Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Real!

This week started off pretty poorly when I heard the news of the Taco Bell lawsuit claiming that their ground beef really only contained 33% beef.  I thought back to all of the tacos and burritos that I've consumed at "the Bell" with disgust.  But thankfully, the record has been set straight.  It turns out that Taco Bell officials assert that the lawsuit is unmerited, as the beef used at Taco Bell is 88% beef.

That sure did make me feel better, knowing that instead of 67% filler and other stuff, I had only been eating 12% filler and other stuff.  In all seriousness, after reading an ingredient list, it really doesn't seem that the Taco Bell meat is full of nastiness that you would be afraid to eat, but it does lead one to question again just how our food gets from pasture to table.  To think that an animals meat can be processed and repackaged to the point where when we finally eat it more than ten percent is actually something other than meat is an unsavory thought.  I reviewed the Omnivore's Dilemma in a post a few months back, and a story like this makes me appreciate the book even more.

On a side note, apparently Taco Bell has been proactive in deflecting criticism.  Here is a commercial from their new add campaign.  Click the link to find more related videos on YouTube if you find it entertaining, but honestly, you could probably catch the drift and figure out where it's going in about thirty seconds.  More after the break:

Just a few weeks ago, I rediscovered "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" on Netflix with my children.  I shared the discovery with a few co-workers.  We marveled at how the show resembled a Public Service Announcement more than entertainment.  When I remember the cartoons of my childhood, I appreciate the positive message that so many of them conveyed.  I learned positive social interactions from Albert and the Gang; grammar, math, science and history from School House Rocks, and even G.I. Joe reminded us that "knowing is half the battle."

This add campaign seems to hearken back to those days.  Unfortunately, its purpose is to mask the seriousness of a message that needs to become a part of the public dialogue.  It also serves to further manipulate the public into a false sense of dependence on the corporate machine that so drives the American economy and culture today.

To be fair, Taco Bell does not appear to be acting in an unreasonable or unlawful manner, nor does their product seem to be unsafe for consumption.  They do not appear to be misleading in their response to the accusation.  But I still have this nagging desire to move my diet away from the corporate/factory model of food production and consumption so ubiquitous in our world today.

Thinking of this post in terms of my blog title, it is so easy to take the quick and convenient route to our sustenance.  But if we truly see our bodies as the temple of our Lord we should certainly take more care in what we put in it; and if we see ourselves as caretakers of God's creation we should be more mindful of how our choices in consumption affect that role.

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