Crushed Bugs in Your Starbucks?

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If you drink the strawberry frappuccino from Starbucks, the answer is yes. Starbucks’ president Cliff Burrows just announced on the Starbucks blog, “Based on recent feedback, we learned that we fell short of [our customer’s] expectations by using cochineal extract.” According to Merriam-Webster, cochineal extract is a red dye consisting of the dried bodies of female cochineal insects. He continued on to explain that cochineal extract is “a natural, FDA-approved colorant found in a wide variety of food and beverage products in the U.S.”  Hey, crushed bugs are crushed bugs no matter who approves them.

Starbucks is working to find an alternative dye for their Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino, Strawberry Smoothies and three food items – the Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie. This die is not unique to these popular Starbucks products. We also suggest checking labels on red or orange Sobe drinks and a variety of yogurts and juices that contain strawberry flavoring. Check out a comprehensive list of products here!

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