Taco Bell to Remove Artificial Ingredients from Food. Does it Matter?

May 27, 2015 at 2:46 pm |
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Taco Bell announced this week that it plans to remove both artificial coloring and flavors from most of its food. They also plan to remove certain additives, added trans fats, palm oil and high-fructose corn syrup from their menu items as well. The ongoing process will take until 2017 to complete.

The plan removes such ingredients as “black pepper flavoring” and replaces it with real black pepper. Or, takes caramel coloring and replaces it with a natural alternative.

Taco Bell also revealed a more transparent website that allows consumers to see all the ingredients added to their food and the nutritional value.

While the plan sounds great (who doesn’t appreciate a company trying to be more transparent with their product?), does it really matter? Taco Bell insists that the changing of ingredients won’t affect the taste of their product. But as most foods that are oh-so guilt-inducing good, they’re also typically really bad for you. For example, you can have the most delicious plate of nachos with cheese, meat, radishes, jalapeños, and black olives etc etc. And sure, it can all be organic, all natural ingredients, but if the dish weighs a pound and you eat the whole thing, you’re not being healthy.

Just look at Taco Bell’s latest creation, the Grilled Stuft Nacho, (maybe one day they’ll remove artificial spellings from their menu) is meat, cheese, sour cream, and crunchy tortilla wrapped in a soft tortilla shell. Sounds delicious? It should be at 550 calories, more than half of which are calories from fat! Almost half of your daily value of fat is in this one product, along with 30 mg of cholesterol and 960 mg of sodium!

Furthermore, who just gets one thing at Taco Bell? If you’re going there, you’re probably also ordering a soda and some cinnamon twists, which would make this meal close to half if not over half of your daily calorie intake. Empty calories at that. Introduce your thighs to each other because they’re about to get very close.

Our two cents: don’t buy into fast food chains announcing that their food will become more natural. You know what else is all natural? Bacon fat. Why not just drink that all the time?

Instead, stick to healthy food you make at home. If you’re want to go out, at least avoid the inauthentic fast food cheese-ball wrap snacks, and find a real Mexican restaurant with great authentic-tasting cuisine. Your tastebuds will thank you, and you’ll feel less guilty about the splurge.

If Taco Bell’s latest item is 550 calories, are their ingredients truly ‘all natural’?