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Taco Bell’s Dorito Loco Taco

Taco Bell’s Dorito Loco Taco

Taco Bell recently released the new Dorito Loco Taco, a taco with a shell made of nacho cheese Dorito chips.  The concoction has sparked a lot of online chatter, but perhaps one of the most frustrating articles about it is the one titled “Can Doritos Locos Tacos Save Taco Bell?” written by Deborah Sweeney for

The article assesses the taco’s potential to revitalize the fast food chain, which is still reeling from a 2011 salmonella scare and a lawsuit that claimed that only 35% of Taco Bell’s beef was actually beef.  Though the lawsuit was ultimately dropped, its assertion that most of Taco Bell’s beef is actually binders and fillers wreaked havoc on the chain’s reputation.  Other articles, like this one from USA Today, analyze the introduction of the Dorito Loco Taco in a similar fashion.

But this is not the conversation we should be having.  Articles like these treat food as a commodity.  They determine its value based only on how much money it can make for its manufacturer.  In the USA Today article, one “new-products guru” says that the taco will be “one of the big successes of 2012.”  But food is not simply a product like a car or a video game system.  It is a source of nourishment that plays a huge role in the health of those who consume it.

It is this narrow, capitalist view of food that has led, in large part, to the obesity and diabetes epidemics in the United States. Food companies load their food with fat, corn syrup, and salt in order to over-stimulate our taste buds and condition us to crave their unnaturally sweet and salty food products.  Then their marketing departments pitch these insane food creations to the public – not caring how they impact our health – only to make more money.

Not only does the practice of turning food into a commodity lead to widespread health problems, it is also the force behind the atrocious treatment of animals in the corporate food chain, as well as the destruction of the soil.  Animals that are raised for food in the corporate food system are seen as commodities, as well.  They are not viewed as living creatures that can feel pain, but as assets used to produce a salable item.  As a result, they are forced into tight quarters without the ability to move around or enjoy the outdoors.  They are fed a diet that makes them sick.  Chickens are raised to have breasts so large they can’t walk.  Pigs have their tails docked.  They are given all kinds of antibiotics and hormones.  All for the sake of profit.

When it comes to the soil,  crops grown for use in the corporate food system are frequently grown in monocultures, a practice that strips the soil of its nutrients.  And, of course, these crops are grown using pesticides because engaging in organic practices takes more time and is less “efficient.”

As Michael Pollan argues in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the logic of capitalism does not hold true when it comes to food.  In the case of food, human beings, animals, and land are all at stake and cannot be transformed into quantitative variables in a capitalist equation.  Therefore, it is our responsibility as consumers to avoid fast food and choose foods that do not contribute to the corporate food system.


Read more: Conscious Consumer, Eating for Health, Food

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


+ add your own
12:41AM PST on Mar 8, 2013


7:31AM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

9:48AM PST on Feb 1, 2013


7:35PM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

its okay. taco bell always gives me the squirts

2:04AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

I'm sorry, Taco Bell is already gross... This dorito taco is even a grosser idea. Not interested, thanks. I'll make my own tacos, thank you. They taste so much better, and I'm positive that mine are healthier.

9:19PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Crunch and die.

9:14PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

thanks, interesting point

1:27PM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

If we cn't even trust we are eating the best parts of an animal,we are not only harming animals and abusing them but now we are hurting ourselves as well and we do not know to what extent!!This is how I imagined karma would come back to haunt us all.When you don't respect the animal you kill you are eating something that will in turn kill you in the end.What I mean with respecting the animal you kill is that there was once a great need to hunt and kill animals for survivals sake now we kill beyond what we need and yet there is still a great many starving!!!How is that possible?!!!

2:14PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

the irony about all of this is that tacos, nachos, and taco salads actually can be rather healthy. These foods are a good way to add beans and other veggies to our diet.. I rather enjoy the seven layer burrito for all the veggies and healthy carbs in it. rice, refried beans, sour cream, a modest amount of cheese--it's a great vegetarian dish! Probably the better choice is to make many of these dishes at home where we can control the ingredients--the meat, cheese (and amt), veggies, etc. ortega taco shells and tortillas make a great base for home made. hmmmm...think I will get out that box of Ortega shells, chop up some tomatoes, grate some cheddar, and make a nice dinner!

1:48PM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

To make it even better, the commercial for this new product is about a college student who has such a craving for these new tacos that he drives himself and 3 friend 900+ miles to get them. That's a big carbon footprint for such a small food item! Although I must admit, their bean burritos have definitely been a craving of mine from time to time...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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The quality of your articles and contents is great.

Thanks for sharing.

I love edamame, but in the U.S. it's 90% GMO, so please try to find the organic kind.


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