Hey Taco Bell! Beans and Veggies are Power Proteins!

The word “meat” must actually be trending negatively! Does that mean things are going in the right (more vegan) direction? Well, you would think so, but it’s questionable at Taco Bell!


Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Taco Bell is now testing what they are calling a “Power Protein” menu in Ohio.  On July 25th, they will offer these “protein” items with double the regular amount of chicken or steak—to more than 20 grams.

Research shows that “43 percent of conversations about “meat” over the last six months were negative and often included such words as “bad,” “concerns,” and “problem” ” according to Infegy, a data analysis company. Using the word “protein” instead of the usual words, chicken, steak or beef, is a word choice that seems to be aimed at health-conscious people.  Most people made positive, healthful associations with the word “protein,” in contrast. The article states that the “Power Protein” menu is part of Taco Bell’s “recent commitment to making a healthier menu by 2020”.

Hmmm…healthier by doubling the amount of meat? How can Taco Bell have it so upside down? If they really wanted to offer a healthier menu, why aren’t they offering a double portion of  beans—a Mexican food staple, an inexpensive, nutritious protein, and probably the healthiest item on their menu? Added assorted veggies would make it the perfect “Power Protein Burrito!” Taco Bell, you  have it all wrong!

Or take a look at the Chipotle Sofritas for some good inspiration about how to take out the word “meat” AND actually take out the meat!  Chipolte Mexican Grill, is offering their new vegan Sofritas in their California stores, showing that meat is not the only protein in town. 

Black beans and Pinto beans both have over 15 grams of protein per cup!

I think we can all agree that if you want a healthy meal, Taco Bell may not be the first place you would head, but if Taco Bell wants to offer healthy, inexpensive options and make an impact on the obesity epidemic in this country, they should consider creating and marketing more delicious veggie options and include some in their “Power Protein Menu”!

xox Ellen

VAP Photo of me retouchedDSCF0406-150x150






  1. I hadn’t been to a Taco Bell in years until I read this article by Mark Bittman: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/magazine/yes-healthful-fast-food-is-possible-but-edible.html

    I had a Bean Burrito off the fresco menu and it was pretty darn good! Probably a lot of sodium, but still…

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