SDSU’s beef with beef

by Ty Thompson

I haven’t gotten to the bottom of it yet, but I think there’s a cow conspiracy on campus. And I think it could be an epidemic. It’s mad cow crazy. So let me tell you what I know so far:

Hamburgers. Have you seen them around Montezuma Mesa lately? Have you seen them at all while walking into Aztec Center, East or West Commons?

I’m not talking about one of those pita burgers at Daphne’s Greek Cafe. I don’t trust them. Those Greeks. They offer three versions of the pita burger: seasoned ground beef, grilled chicken tenders and Gardenburger. Clearly, we all know that a Gardenburger doesn’t count as a real hamburger. And to call a chicken tender in a pita a burger is like calling a steak in a hoagie roll a chicken sandwich. Sacrilegious.

What of this seasoned beef burger then? It almost meets the requirements of a typical American hamburger. It’s not even made of lamb, so they say. But not so fast, my friends.

Where’s the ketchup? Where are the buns? How much of that seasoned beef really is beef at all?

Another of the superior corporate establishments on campus has already been caught up in a seasoned beef scandal.

If you’re not familiar with it, faux Mexican food chain Taco Bell has recently been fighting a lawsuit claiming the meat in its tacos, burritos and other products is not all beef, and in fact, contains less beef than other by-products in its secret mix.

By-products, hmm? Scary.

The class action lawsuit suggests the Taco Bell meat mixture contains binders and fillers instead of pure beef.

Fillers such as spicy salsa blood and chopped up children sour cream and gerbil guacamole. It’s possible. I swear.

In an interview with the Associated Press last week, Dee Miles, one of the lawyers overseeing the lawsuit, said Taco Bell reduces costs by adding fillers such as soy and corn starch to save money on beef and gain a competitive advantage.

Those taco meat swindlers.

Now, it’s trying to trick the American public with a killer comic ad campaign.

Led by Dr. Steve Value and Commander Seasoned Beef, and with other members such as Crunch Boy and Flex Tortilla, the team of superheroes is attempting to fight back against the lawsuit and bland flavor everywhere.

But, as my research suggests, really, it’s protecting the cows.

Can you resist rooting for the Super Delicious Ingredient Force in its quest to defeat Baron von Bland?
Of course not. No one can. They are too strong, have too much power and their allure will hide Taco Bell’s secret cow conspiracy.

If you don’t trust me, check them out online. But be careful of the rhetorical power of the cartoons, especially in the volcano menu episode.

So here on campus, with Taco Bell already protecting the cows with its secret sauce, who’s to say that Daphne’s Greek Cafe isn’t in on the conspiracy? Who’s to say every restaurant on campus isn’t being controlled by cows?

Conspicuously, the hamburger is missing on campus. One could argue that beef is still rampant on campus, you can order it at Panda Express, in the beef and broccoli.

You can get a carne asada burrito or taco at Rubio’s. You can even go to Chipotle and order non-hormone and steroid-free beef.
But still, in a world where you can’t buy a real, juicy, All-American hamburger at a state school campus, something smells a bit too fishy.

I can only blame the cows.

-Ty Thompson is an MFA grad student in fiction. Reach him at

-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.