Report Says Starbucks Dyes Drinks With Crushed Bugs

NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) – Are you a fan of Starbucks strawberry frappuccinos? How do you feel about eating bugs?

The website 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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  • Ms. M

    Not new news but if you’re one of those who never does any investigating on what you’re eating, here’s the 411 on ‘cochineal extract’: Carmine ( /ˈkɑrmɪn/ or /ˈkɑrmaɪn/), also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4[1], C.I. 75470[1], or E120, is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminum salt of carminic acid, which is produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal scale and the Polish cochineal, and is used as a general term for a particularly deep-red color of the same name. Carmine is used in the manufacture of artificial flowers, paints, crimson ink, rouge, and other cosmetics, and is routinely added to food products such as yogurt and certain brands of juice, the most notable ones being those of the ruby-red variety.

    Carmine has been used for many years in many foods/products and it hasn’t caused any harmful effects. More harmful is probably the amount of fat and calories in that frappuchino you’re drinnking.

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