A defense of Taco Bell

Taco Bell gets a bad rap. Everyone knows the classic jokes made about it: that it’s gross, that the food is fake, that it gives you uncontrollable diarrhea. While I’m no spokesman for the magnificent fast-food chain that is Taco Bell, I feel a moral obligation to speak my mind, and to right the wrongs that have been done to my favorite fake Mexican food establishment. By the time that you are done reading this article, I hope to have convinced you that Taco Bell is a respectable and laudable dining establishment.

First and foremost, we must delve into the concept of honesty. People complain that the food at Taco Bell is fake, and while the ingredients might be questionable at best, Taco Bell’s soul is truthful and kind. There are many definitions of “honest,” and many ways that this word can be applied to food. In the context of fast food, I believe that honesty doesn’t refer to the quality of ingredients, but the mutual understanding that the fast food chain has with its customers. Unlike Burger King, Taco Bell doesn’t try to convince you that its food is “flame-grilled” or “home-style” (as in the case of the Homestyle Cheeseburger at BK, which, from what I can tell, is just a cheeseburger). Unlike McDonald’s, Taco Bell doesn’t claim to have “quality ingredients.” Taco Bell doesn’t beat around the bush: if you’re in a Taco Bell, it’s because you want to stuff your face with grease, plain and simple. Nobody’s under the delusion that they’re making positive life choices when they eat a hot pile of beef stuffed into a gigantic Dorito. There’s no double-think of trying to convince yourself you’re being healthy at a Taco Bell, and customers appreciate that. By being honest about what it is, Taco Bell tells its customers that making the decision to eat Taco Bell is okay, and not something to be ashamed of. It accepts itself, and in so doing allows us to accept ourselves.

Another complaint that people have at Taco Bell is that everything on the menu is too repetitive. Again, I am compelled to disagree with these claims. Taco Bell is commendable for its commitment to stick to what it knows. Despite having a menu with dozens of items on it, I’m fairly sure that Taco Bell only keeps about seven ingredients in its kitchen. However, the magic of Taco Bell doesn’t come from its pantry. Instead of trying to appease customers with a wide variety of flavors, Taco Bell repackages some iteration of beans cheese, beef and sad vegetables in a variety of fun and tasty shapes and sizes. While some might see this as a negative, I see it as one of the best things about Taco Bell. When you go to Taco Bell, you aren’t faced with the tough decision of choosing between a Wendy’s Baconator or an Asiago Ranch Chicken Club—instead, you get to choose what form your meal will adopt before you stuff it into your gaping maw. With just a few simple ingredients, Taco Bell is able to produce a Pandora’s box of crescents, tubes, circles, hexagons and other shapes that inspire joy in their consumers without regard to their shape or size. Rumor has it that they’re working on a way to inject beef juice intravenously into your femoral artery, but until that day I will continue to content myself with the Crunchwrap Supreme.

As a side note, Taco Bell will never make a mistake with your order. Sure, they might give you the wrong items, but the nature of the food makes everything that Taco Bell sells pretty much interchangeable. And if they make a mistake with the preparation, what are you going to do? Complain about it? What could you possibly say, that the greasy, unhealthy food that you ordered is too greasy? That the “cheese” that overlays your limp chalupa isn’t “cheese”-ey enough? If you are a conscious, sensible adult making the decision to eat Taco Bell of your own accord and without being under physical duress, then you knew exactly what you were getting yourself into. Taco Bell isn’t responsible for the mistake – you are.

A final issue that I will address is that of the digestive implications of eating Taco Bell. I won’t dispute that eating Taco Bell is tantamount to declaring nuclear war on your gastrointestinal tract. Yes, we have all had diarrhea after eating an entire Taco Twelve-Pack—but is that really such a bad thing? According to a press release issued by Business Wire in Jan., the global vaccine industry will be worth $61 billion by 2020. Americans spend hundreds to thousands of dollars to receive immunizations over the course of their lifetimes, but this cost could be circumvented by the simple act of eating at Taco Bell once a day. After all, how bad are cholera or tetanus when compared to the nuclear disembowelment that follows the consumption of Tao Bell? Not only do I believe that the pain that people experience following consumption of Taco Bell builds character, but I also hold that it keeps things in perspective. And in this crazy world that we live in, most people could benefit by keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

This concludes my thesis on Taco Bell. I hope that I have encouraged you to think outside the box with me, and I look forward to us all destroying our bodies with Taco Bell together.


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