Run to the Border: What the Meat at Taco Bell is Made Of

taco bell tacos

Every once in a while I will get a hankering for real Mexican food and I will send Polly on a Taco Bell run. She rolls her eyes and gives me the gag sign, and then asks, you do know what is in their tacos, right? Of course I know. I worked one day for Taco Bell in the 1990′s and I remember watching them rehydrolyze bags of taco meat. I thought then, if people only knew. I like eating at Taco Bell because the food tastes good. Their tacos are like hot dogs…taste great…just don’t think about where they came from.

According to recent news reports, the meat in a Taco Bell taco is only 88% meat. What? Yep, 88% meat. The other 12% is called “signature recipe”. Here’s what you are eating the next time you bite into a scrumptious 79 cent taco at Taco Bell:

taco bell taco meat

Taco Bell explains their “signature recipe” here. (link no longer available)


The real Mexican food line was a joke. Having lived in Arizona and eaten at real, down home, Mexican restaurants, I know what real Mexican food tastes like. Taco Bell ain’t it.

Comments (9)

  1. Ian

    I don’t care. I love Taco Bell. I love the Chalupas and the Grilled Stuffed Burritos. I love the phony cheese sauce, I love the mild sauce.

    Taco Bell makes me smile, and fat.

  2. William Sperber

    You like what you like. For me it’s somehow less than food; I feel less nourished after TB than I did before I ate it.

  3. Ruth

    Where’s the beef?!?

    Oh wait…wrong fast food joint. I’m always still hungry after I eat at Taco Bell and some of it’s okay, but real Mexican food? Puhlease! :D

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Yeah, once you have eaten real Mexican food, everything else pales in comparison. There were lots of Mexican restaurants in Yuma, where we lived for a short times, and when we lived in San Antonio, the church I pastored had a lot of Hispanic families. Church dinners were fabulous. Awesome food.

  4. NeverAgainV

    Haven’t eaten Taco Bell since forever. I must say when I did, I enjoyed it!

    I admit, I like junk food. :) Though I don’t eat it much these days, which is probably a good thing. LOL

    Like you Bruce, I love hot dogs…just try not to think about what’s in them, same for the other junk I indulge from time to time. :)

    This is why I jog and workout, to try and compensate for my love of peanut M&M’s, which i indulge way too often and other -bad- stuff I like to indulge.

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      We try to buy real meat, casing wieners (brand name Kowalski, a regional company) that are now 5.00 a pound at the butcher shop. Anything a grocery can sell for 99 cents a pound and make money on it is not good for you! :)

  5. NeverAgainV

    gotta add that during my young adult life I smoked cigarettes on and off.
    I was never a chain smoker, at the most maybe I’d smoke a half pack a day.

    It was a pick me up and I must say that I enjoyed every single puff I took!!
    Sad…I did not like the downside, the way smoke made me and my clothes smell, but I did enjoy the pep it gave me and it curbed my appetite as well.

    Haven’t had a puff in 10 years, & I don’t miss the bad about it, but I did enjoy smoking. Crazy, right?? :D

    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      My Mom smoked from her teenage years to when she died at age 54. I would get after her about smoking but she told me it was the only pleasure she had left. Like you, she found great enjoyment in smoking. I never smoked. Both by parents did, but because I played sports I steered clear of cigarettes and alcohol.

  6. Stephanie

    Darn you! Now I want to go get me some Taco Bell! All I have to do is hop in the car… Anyway, I am a vegetarian but I still like some of the other junky stuff they sell.


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