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!