Aired January 29, 2011 on Dave’s Gone By. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PpPBBQCz-8
Shalom Dammit, this is Rabbi Sol Solomon with a Rabbinical Reflection for the week of January 30th, 2011.
In 1984, an adorable old biddy named Clara Peller took the nation by storm when she asked, “Where’s the beef? Where’s the beef?”
At the time, she was peeking under hamburger buns, looking for a sandwich as delicious and meaty as what she got at Wendy’s. Other fast-food chains, the commercial was saying, were stingy with the steer and padding their patties with fillers and fixin’s.
Last week, a new question was asked – this time of Taco Bell. Instead of “Where’s the beef,” the new question is, “What in god’s name is the scheiss you’re stuffing in a taco?”
It’s a subtly different question, but an important one, because a group of lawyers is now suing Taco Bell. Why?
According to the USDA, to call something beef, it has to be at least 70 percent meat, and the rest can be fat. If it’s only 50 percent meat and 50 percent fat, it’s filler. Or Seth Rogen.
To be called even a beef product, it has to contain at least 40 percent actual meat.
The lawyers suing Taco Bell say that the Mexican-food chain uses a beef-like mixture that is only 35 percent meat. The other 65 percent is…..not.
Not that all the extra ingredients are bad – there’s soybeans, oats, wheat, fiberglass insulation – but if you, the consumer, are ordering beef, you should be guaranteed that at least two thirds of what’s going in your tummy is the ground-up remains of a murdered cow.
Taco Bell has denied filling its tacos with filler. They say the attorneys are simply underestimating their secret mix of beef, spices, beef helper, beef helpless, vermin excrement and marginally beef-related objects.
Now you may ask, Rabbi, why are you weighing in on this controversy? Aren’t you Kosher?
No. I enjoy dipping a shrimp-flavored ham sandwich into a glass of milk as much as the next guy. Probably more. But even if I were as kosher as I am irritating, would I not feel an obligation to protect the stomachs and anuses of my fellow man?
Let us not pre-judge too harshly. Who among us has ventured into Taco Bell expecting a gourmet meal? In fact, who among us hasn’t been tempted to peek inside a Taco Bell burrito and then stopped ourselves, thinking, “nooo…sometimes it’s best not to know.”
And let’s be honest: even the highest-quality Mexican food can cause a person to crap like a dying gorilla.
I, myself, have been to Mexican take-out places where if you order more than 15 dollars, they throw in an extra roll of toilet paper.
My God, you know why they use re-fried beans? They couldn’t fry them right in the first place.
And there’s a reason the initials of Taco Bell’s Mexi-Melt are M&M. They melt in your mouth AND in your pants.
Now, I enjoy diarrhea as much as the next guy. Probably more. And there’s something very organic about a kind of food that looks exactly the same coming out as it did going in.
But we must demand honesty of our merchants. If you fill your quesadilla from a case o’ sawdust, we have a right to know.
And so, only time – and the courts – will show whether Taco Bell can stop this unfortunate smear campaign, or if this campaign can stop unfortunate smears.
But my friends, this lesson extends to our personal lives and interactions. How often do we give only 35 percent of ourselves, when we could give 50, or 90, or the much-quoted but mathematically disturbing 110?
Do we really listen when we have a conversation? At work, do we drudge away while keeping one eye on the clock, one eye on youtube, and one eye on the window? When being intimate with our spouse, do we think about her, or about that hot little blonde girl with the low-rise jeans and the overbite at the Rite Aid? You know, the one who always wears those pink sweaters and lots of rings and has those three piercings in the left ear – no, no, the right ear. Oh, yes.
But shame on you…for neglecting your wife! Why are you giving her filler, when you should be giving her your meat? And wife, are you being fully honest about what has filled your taco?
And so I say unto Taco Bell and to you, my dear listeners, you can either improve your fare, or, if you keep dishing out the same drek, at least be honest about it. If you do, I will keep patronizing Taco Bell, just as I did today for lunch. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go drop a chalupa.
This has been a Rabbinical Reflection by Rabbi Sol Solomon, Temple Sons of Bitches in Great Neck, New York. Ole’.
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