Joining the hot new trend started by Kraft Macaroni And Cheese of making food that doesn’t look like it recently acquired superpowers, Yum! Brands, the faceless megacorporation behind such all-American food simulacra as the infamous KFC Famous Bowl, has announced its intention to eliminate artificial flavors and colors, high fructose corn syrup, “unsustainable” palm oil, and trans fats from its Taco Bell menu items by the end of 2015, and artificial preservatives by the end of 2017.
Well, most of them anyway. The announcement conveniently doesn’t affect so-called “co-branded products,” including the chain’s obscenely popular Doritos Locos Tacos, which will remain either bright orange, fiery red, or whatever color “ranch” is, or Cinnabon Delights, which will continue to be injected with alternately scalding hot and lukewarm sugar goo. (The ban also doesn’t affect beverages, because Mountain Dew without high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors and flavors is basically just water.)
The move is part of a new campaign to appeal to millennials, who Yum! is apparently hoping don’t know the difference between “natural” and ”healthy.” As Liz Matthews, Taco Bell’s Chief Food Innovation Officer, tells BuzzFeed, “There are things that are good and things that are bad, and that’s not for us to debate.” What will be up for debate, presumably, is what exactly “natural” will mean.