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Bug goo in your Starbucks Frappuccinos! -.-

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Beetle coloring in Starbucks’ Strawberries & Creme Frappuccinos bugs vegans
Scripps Howard News Service March 29, 2012 11:10AM
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Updated: March 29, 2012 11:19AM

When Starbucks changed its Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino mix, it made sure the new ingredients were dairy-free. But no one said anything about being bug-free.

Turns out the strawberry sauce used in the coffee chain’s Frappuccinos contains cochineal extract — made from the bodies of ground-up cochineal beetles.

Starbucks made the switch in January, when it aggressively moved away from artificial ingredients.

An anonymous vegan barista who works for Starbucks sent a picture of the sauce’s ingredient list to a vegetarian blog called

www.ThisDishIsVegetarian.com , which recently posted it along with a warning that Strawberry Frappuccino is no longer vegan.
The revelation sparked some criticism, even though, gross as putting crushed bugs in a drink might sound, it’s a common, government-approved food coloring used widely throughout the food industry. It’s in everything from some Yoplait yogurts to three Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts flavors.

Daelyn Fortney, co-founder of ThisDishIsVegetarian.com, wants Starbucks to go back to using a vegan coloring like red beet, black carrots or purple sweet potatoes.

“This was known as a drink that vegans can safely consume,” Fortney says of the Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino. “We’re not trying to cause any problems. Our point is, vegans are drinking this, and it’s not vegan.”

Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson confirms “the strawberry base for our Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino does contain cochineal extract, a common natural dye that is used in the food industry, and it helps us move away from artificial ingredients.”

The base also is used in Starbucks’ strawberry smoothies, according to Olson, and the insect-derived extract is in some other foods and drinks the chain sells, including its red velvet whoopie pies.

Three years ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said food and cosmetic products must declare on their labels that they contain cochineal extract or another bug-derived coloring called carmine. The rule went into effect in early 2011. Until then, the insect additives often were listed as “artificial colors” or “color added.”

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an activist group that pushed the FDA for the new labeling requirements, praises Starbucks for moving away from artificial ingredients. But, noting that some people have allergic reactions to insects, Jacobson has a suggestion for Starbucks: “Strawberry Frapuccino should be colored with strawberries.”

Contributing: Gannett News Service

http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/food/11597241-423/beetle-coloring-in-starbucks-strawberries-creme-frappuccinos-bugs-vegans.html

even though this personally doesn't bother me (probably because I don't drink the strawberry ones) I know someone might want to know this :)

Ugh, gross.  I just make a point to never eat (artificial) red stuff now, I just assume it has cochineal.

I love how they try to make it sound ok by calling it 'natural.'

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