Friday, February 4, 2011

My beef with the Taco Bell lawsuit

I used to eat Taco Bell all the time, and I mean constantly. Having eaten at Taco Bells since the mid to early 80's, I can tell you that it was a place where I enjoyed the food. It was comfort food.

I have since reduced my intake of Taco Bell dramatically to about once or maybe twice a month, depending on my mood. I still love Taco Bell, I just have other foods I like to eat as well.

When I first heard about the lawsuit being filed against Taco Bell, regarding the amount of beef in the "Seasoned Ground Beef", I was amused and curious. I have still been unable to determine how the test was performed that resulted in a determination of less than 40% beef in the item. In addition, it left me with some nagging questions, that I hope will be answered in the near future. Here they are in no particular order:

1. How many items were tested for beef content?
2. Was a random sample of beef related items tested from multiple locations to determine a mean value of beef?
3. How were other items removed from the test beef, such as lettuce, cheese, rice, etc, in order to establish results that were not affected by these variables?
4. Are your conclusions generalizable to the rest of the Taco Bell population? For instance can we go to any Taco Bell, at any given moment, and receive a product with less than 40% beef?
5. Is your results repeatable? Can a team of scientists follow the exact same procedure you used to determine the amount of beef and come up with a statistically significant response that supports your hypothesis?

I feel that these are reasonable questions that need to be asked before a determination is made in this case. Any thoughts?

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