On the heels of the controversy regarding Taco Bell’s “beef” tacos being predominantly made from soy, we offer a story from the opposite perspective. Read one vegetarian’s experience with Jack in the Box tacos.
This post comes from Soy Happy amigo, Paul Schowalter:
Gather ‘round kids, and hear the story of how Uncle Paul ate beef for the first time in 15 years…….
OK, so me and a couple of friends came home from a party. Instead of going to bed, we started craving food. Tacos seemed like the logical choice since it was around 1:00 in the morning. So we got back in the car and headed to Jack in the Box. I don’t eat beef or pork and I generally prefer a vegetarian option if it is available. My friend mentions that her daughter was a vegetarian and always ate Jack tacos because they were soy, not beef. I love soy tacos, so this was wonderful news to me. But I’m skeptical.
When we get there, the menu has no mention of “beef” tacos, they are called just “tacos.” This evidence supported my friend’s theory because what burger place would advertise a soy product? So I’m leaning. Then I ask the girl at the counter if there is beef in the tacos. “No,” she says,”they are soy. That’s how we keep the cost so low.” So my friend’s vegetarian daughter says they are soy, the menu doesn’t mention any beef, the person working at the restaurant confirms they are soy, and I’m drunk (don’t worry I didn’t drive.) The verdict is in…let’s eat! So I inhale 3 tacos in a matter of seconds.
The next day I fly home, sober up, and question what I did. A Google search reveals several matches for this very topic. 1/3 of the sites claim the tacos are beef and 1/3 claim the tacos are soy. The remaining 1/3 are porn sites that come up no matter what you type in the search box. But the truth is somewhere in between…there’s not enough cow in the tacos to call them “beef” but there is some, so they aren’t vegetarian either. A couple of websites claimed that Jack enjoys the vagueness because omnivores think they are eating beef and vegetarians think they are eating soy. To Jack’s credit, the ingredients are listed on their website, and they don’t lie on their menus like Taco Bell is alleged to be doing.
I didn’t do my research so I’m mostly mad at myself, but I didn’t appreciate being misled by the employee. I had stayed away from beef for over 15 years and my streak gets derailed because of a couple of cheap tacos? I’m surprised I didn’t get sick, which may be a testament to how little beef is actually in those things.
I wrote a nastygram to Jack and they responded right away and invited me to call them. I called and they were very apologetic and wanted to know exactly what store we were at and what time we were there so they could educate their employees. The person on the phone seemed sincere so I don’t have a problem with how they handled it. And she offered me some coupons for free food, which was nice, but they never arrived. It seemed fitting.