Vegetarian fast food lovers, rejoice. Taco Bell's new vegetarian menu is giving you a new option for meatless munchies in 2019, so you no longer have to make compromises about eating out. According to a press release, Taco Bell is about to test a new, dedicated vegetarian menu so that you can get your fast food fix and your 3-5 servings of veg all at once.
Taco Bell announced the exciting new change in a press release entitled "Tacos with a Side of Purpose," which details the company's seven major commitments for 2019. Under section four, titled "be even easier and better for vegetarians and flexitarians," the press release notes that the Tex-Mex chain will be trying out a dedicated vegetarian menu later this year. According to Munchies, Taco Bell has already earned a stamp of approval from animal rights organization PETA for its ability to veganize menu items and the company is also the only quick service restaurant certified by the American Vegetarian Association (AVA). Taco Bell also has 28 certified vegan ingredients like tortillas and guac.
"We’re always looking for ways to give our customers more choice when they eat at Taco Bell," says Missy Schaaphok, RDN, manager of global nutrition & sustainability, in a press email to Elite Daily. She says,
We know that Americans are increasingly opting for vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian meals, and we pride ourselves on being able to accommodate a wide variety of diets and lifestyles. ... That's why we're excited to offer our first-ever dedicated vegetarian menu, as well as new vegetarian and vegan menu items to provide our customers more choices – without compromising craveability, simplicity, quality or value.
According to ABC affiliate KATV, the vegetarian menu will include tacos, tostadas, burritos and crunchwraps. Sadly, there are no specific details on where and when the menu will be rolling out as of right now, although a representative for the taco chain says the new menu will be tested "in the coming months." I'd keep an eye out.
But it's not like there's nothing available for veggie-lovers right now. The chain already has 28 certified-vegan ingredients, and the company boasts eight million vegetarian combinations. Some of Taco Bell's current offerings have 13 AVA certified menu options like the Breakfast Soft Taco without Bacon, Black Beans and Rice, Veggie Power Menu Bowl and Burrito, and the Spicy Tostada. Vegetarian customers can also rely on the availability of desserts like the Cinnabon Delights and Cinnamon Twists and a variety of meat-free sides like Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes and Chips and Guac. So basically, there's still plenty of Taco Bell you can enjoy in the meantime.
Taco Bell customers and enthusiasts are already reacting to the news with excitement. Twitter user @nanahaam tweeted about being "high key excited about Taco Bell's vegetarian menu," and Twitter user @aaamdlr tweeted directly at Taco Bell saying "Omg I’m so excited for your new vegetarian options though."
The fast food chain's other 2019 commitments include incorporating more high quality ingredients, working to ensure all the beef is sustainable, boosting recycling efforts, maintaining affordability, and creating more jobs in the United States. The Taco Bell Foundation, the company's charity arm, will also double its funding goal to support young people with $21 million in scholarships by 2021, per the press release. Julie Masino, president of North America at Taco Bell commented on the efforts in the release, saying, "these are just some of our promises to keep doing even better and being even better, and they are promises that we know we will keep."
So while you're eating meat or going veg at Taco Bell, you can enjoy the food knowing that the company is working toward good causes, inclusion, and sustainability for all.