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Old 01-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #31
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But of course, as we all know, the best tacos in the U.S are served from street corner taco trucks. Some a not good, but most are better than what's served at authentic Mexican restaurants. Beef and tongue are my favorites. And no, you will not find lettuce and tomatoes.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #32
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But of course, as we all know, the best tacos in the U.S are served from street corner taco trucks. Some a not good, but most are better than what's served at authentic Mexican restaurants. Beef and tongue are my favorites. And no, you will not find lettuce and tomatoes.
When I lived and worked in Ventura County, Calif. I used to get breakfast and lunch from a Mexican Lunch Truck (aka. Taco Wagon) - absolutely the best fast food I've ever had!
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:55 PM   #33
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Good food, safe food, costs money. To grow it right, raise it right, sell it fresh, is not going to be a "bargain". But you get what you pay for. Find a good butcher, a pastured animal farm, whatever, and start buying from them. Kosher butchers, Halal butchers, old world Italian or Mexican butchers. You can see and taste the difference.
I agree. We get our beef from our farmer friend - a side per year and that feeds 4 of us well. All grass-fed, non-certified organic (she has a small herd and only sells to friends and family, so it's not frugal to get an actual organic certification). There is a HUGE difference in the way the meat tastes. Often, if I take a carry-in dish (to work, for example), people will comment and say, "This is great and I can't put my finger on it." Well, it's the beef. There's nothing quite like local, grass-fed beef. Even when I'm browning the ground beef for a dish, it takes willpower to not just pick little bits of beef and pop them in my mouth. So yummy! And so lean! And inexpensive... she charges us market price on the hoof, plus the processing, etc. which averages around $2.50/lb!!! One year it was as little as $1.88/lb. cost to us!! That's for steaks, roasts, bones, ground and everything!! You can't beat the price, quality, or taste!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:44 PM   #34
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Ammonia may be the secret ingrediant?

Wow !! I have never heard of this.I cant even begin to think of why annybody would ever think this was a good idea.I really do hope you are wrog about all of that because that is just sick.I wouldnt even consider useing ammonia to clean my cookware let alone have it be the main ingrediant in my tacos.I think you guys are just messing with me.I dont recall the F.D.A ever indorsing an ammonia merinade.Why would they?
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:03 AM   #35
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I agree. We get our beef from our farmer friend -
My brother, for a family of six, buys a live cow, once a year, at the 4H auction of their local county fair. He looks the beast in the eye to express thanks, and gets to talk to the 13-year old kid who'd raised it for the past several years with loving care and the intent to produce a healthy ribbon-worthy animal. For a fee, it's delivered to his doorstep butchered and frozen a couple days later.

That is more tacos than I can possibly eat. So, like roadfix, I chase the trucks in places like Echo Park for my carnitas tacos. I'll have to ask, the next time I walk up to a window, whether they use ammonia in their marinade.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:28 AM   #36
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Wow !! I have never heard of this.I cant even begin to think of why annybody would ever think this was a good idea.I really do hope you are wrog about all of that because that is just sick.I wouldnt even consider useing ammonia to clean my cookware let alone have it be the main ingrediant in my tacos.I think you guys are just messing with me.I dont recall the F.D.A ever indorsing an ammonia merinade.Why would they?
This is a blog, that has links to information (at the bottom of the blog post, about half way down the page). Obviously blogs are not reliable in and of themselves, however this one does reference all of the "mainstream" and reliable sources where this information came from.

Yes, the FDA has approved this method of treating ground beef with ammonia. The problem they are seeing now is that to keep the ammonia flavor from being too distinct, they use less, but it doesn't kill the bacteria. So you have ammonia-treated ground beef that is also at risk to carry pathogens that are not being adequately killed. It's like the worst of both worlds! And yes, I would consider it to be true, as news sources like the New York Times do not write these pieces without some very serious fact-checking.

I second ChefJune's suggestion that everyone watch Food, Inc. There are also (reputable) reports that almost 50% of tested fast food soda machines were positive for fecal matter. There are sooooo many reasons to not eat fast food... these are just two of them.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #37
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So, like roadfix, I chase the trucks in places like Echo Park for my carnitas tacos. I'll have to ask, the next time I walk up to a window, whether they use ammonia in their marinade.
Taco Zone truck parked on Alvarado in front of Vons? My wife prefers tacos from the one parked at the carwash on Sunset & Alvarado. Do you live in mi barrio?
Which is your favorite pizza joint in Echo Park or Silverlake?


As far as the use of ammonia and most of the scenes in Food Inc, I've seen or heard of before. I wouldn't be surprised if most involved in making of that film are affiliated with PETA. And I don't care for them one bit.
Some of my friends have changed their eating habits after seeing this film. WTF? I told them exactly what I thought of the film.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:15 PM   #38
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Funny, I just read an article about Taco Bell today. Seems that when Glenn Bell (the founder) got out of the Marine Corps years ago he opened up a hot dog stand in the same town that Ray Kroc and the McD brothers opened their burger joint. Then Bell decided to venture into the taco business after seeing how hard it was to get tacos to go from local Mexican places. He sold his first franchise to a retired cop, and the restaurant (then called Taco Tia) became a regular hangout for some LA Rams football players. Two of the players also opened franchises, and the rest is history. Apparently Glenn Bell lost some enthusiam for the business when it got so large that they had to number the businesses.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:47 PM   #39
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On the subject of ammonia and beef, I found only 2 "credible" items (not blogs, etc) , and they sort of conflict. The NYT article says they inject the beef ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/us/31meat.html ) the CBS article says they expose the beef to ammonia gas to chage the pH of the meat ( Report: Pioneering Beef Co. under Scrutiny - CBS News ) which I think is probalby more accurate since they use low grade beef trimmings and parts. I cannot think they would inject all those pieces parts, doesn't seem cost effective. Not that ammonia gas is great, but better than being injected as a liquid. That can't be much worse than irradiating herbs and spices or exposing fruit to gasse to ripen or retard ripening can it?
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #40
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Not that ammonia gas is great, but [it] can't be much worse than . . . exposing fruit to gas to ripen or retard ripening can it?
Dave,

I'd take a fresh organic apple that's been in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) storage any day over meat that has been exposed to a thick cloud of ammonia gas.

Which would you rather breathe: CO2 or Ammonia? The latter just reminds me of a house with way too many cats.


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