What’s your favorite beverage at Starbucks? If it’s a strawberry frappuccino, you might be getting more than you bargained for, namely ground up insects.
The famous chain has come clean after concerned vegan customers repeatedly inquired to see if their favorite drink contained any animal byproducts. Eventually, Starbucks admitted that the drink contains the widely used food coloring made of cochineal extract which is made by grinding up the dried bodies of cochineal insects. These bugs are primarily found in Mexico and South America.
Here is part of Starbucks’ official statement:
At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles and needs. We also have the goal to minimize artificial ingredients in our products. While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.
Now keep in mind that these particular concoction of ground up bugs has been used as food coloring for centuries and the use of these insects as food product has been approved by the FDA (although FDA approval does little to provide enough reassurance for me given their track record). But, as ABC News reports, the cochineal extract has been linked to allergies and even asthma in certain people.
I commend Starbucks for being truthful, but I admit it grosses me out and I would not buy one of these drinks for me or my kids. I know there could be worse things and definitely are worse things in our food supply system. If I had to choose between this pink hue and pink slime, I’m willing to bet I’d go for the pink hue.
And remember, what bugs one person, doesn’t necessarily bug another.
Do you buy strawberry frappucinos? Will you still buy them given there are crushed insects in them? Or does this not bother you at all?
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