NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Are you a fan of Starbucks strawberry frappuccinos? How do you feel about eating bugs?
The website ThisDishIsVegetarian.com reports that the Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino at Starbucks is not vegan, even if it contains soy, after a barista alerted the site that the company’s new strawberry flavoring contains “cochineal extract” — which is essentially crushed up dried bugs used as dye. “My guess would be that the recipe changed about three or four weeks ago, when our strawberry sauce got new packaging,” the barista told the website. “I was hoping you guys could help get the word out there so that no vegans end up drinking this formerly vegan frappucino by mistake!”
Cochineal extract comes from the dried bodies of cochineal bugs and has been used for thousands of years to color fabrics. The extract is also known by the names “carmine” and “crimson lake.”
A Starbucks spokesperson replied to the vegetarian website on March 16, according to the site. “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,” the spokesperson said. “While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.”
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