Frappucci-NO WAY! Starbucks Serves Squashed Bugs

Did you hear the one about the bugs in the frappuccino?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the beginning of a joke.  I’m actually referring to the latest news about the food additives in Starbucks beverages.

According to this article, the international coffee giant has been dying their Strawberries & Crème Frappuccinos with cochineal extract, a “natural” coloring additive made of crushed cochineal bugs.  And it doesn’t look like they’re planning on stopping.

Well, I guess I can see how the company is trying to keep a natural/green image, and I give them props for not using some of the toxic artificial colorings out there.  At the same time, though, there are plenty of other natural, non-insect/animal sources of vibrant color – in fact, some are so easy that you could make them at home!

And bugs?   Really?  Is anyone else grossed out by this?  Of course!  Especially the vegan community, who have already started a petition against the company’s use of the ingredient, which you can sign here if you’d like.

All in all, whenever this kind of story makes the news, it makes you wonder what else the FDA allows in your food.  Then again, maybe you really don’t want to know.  But how can we eat healthier if we don’t know what exactly we’re eating now?  This is why we need to be conscious consumers!

Personally, I can’t remember the last time I frequented Starbucks, so this really doesn’t affect me.  What about you?  Do you think it’s okay for companies to use natural ingredients like this, even though they are non-vegetarian/vegan?  And would you drink one of these strawberry frapps, now that you know what gives them their color?

I’d love to hear any/all of your thoughts.  Please feel free to leave a comment below!


The Hunger Games, Movie Theaters, and Mindless Eating – Part 2

As promised in my last post, here are four ways you can plan ahead to combat mindless eating at the movies.  Not only will you eat less junk, but you’ll save some money, too!

1.  Take a pass.

This is what my brother and I did when we went to see The Hunger Games yesterday, which, by the way, was FANTASTIC.  We were able to last the whole 2 hours and 22 minutes (+1 hour wait/commercial time) without any food – it really wasn’t that difficult!

2.  Order small.

Trust me.  You don’t need the biggest size available – you’ll be so into the show that you’re not going to notice that much of a difference!  And if you finish eating before the credits roll, that’s great!  It will give you more time and energy to focus on the movie.  (Or if you’re seeing Hunger Games, you could spend the time trying not to cry, comparing book vs. movie, Peeta vs. Gale, etc… ;))

3.  Share.

Movies are better with a buddy, and so are the snacks – in fact, the more, the merrier!  Not only will you probably eat less, but you’ll also have to be polite about it, too – being sure not to take more than your share, not scarfing/shoveling it by the handful…  It’s a win-win!

4.  Bring your own.

I’m not sure what all theater policies are, but some don’t allow you to bring in your own snacks.  But that’s not to say that they won’t search your purse/pockets if you stuff them with Trader Joe’s goodies or other snacks from home…  Not that I’ve ever done that before!  It’s probably the best way to get the most health-conscious, cost-effective theater snack, though.  Just sayin’! 😉

So next time you go to the movies (or when you see Hunger Games for the third time), ask yourself what you’re going for – the film?  Or the drinks, candy, and popcorn?   Hopefully these four alternatives will help you avoid mindless eating while still enjoying your movie.

“May the odds be ever in your favor!”*

 *Disclaimer:  I’ve only seen the Hunger Games movie; I have not yet read any of the books.  Don’t worry – I am planning on reading them!