Is That A Crushed Bug In Your Frothy Starbucks Drink?
April 2, 2012
By Nancy Shute
“If you are still going to Starbucks, stop! Not only have they killed almost every mom and pop coffee shop, by now it’s been proven they are using crushed up beetles in their beverages. Gross!” –KTRN
Call it the tempest in the Frappuccino. Some Starbucks patrons have been distressed to learn that the chain’s Strawberry and Creme Frappuccino owes its pink coloring to crushed insects.
The coloring in question, cochineal, is made from a tiny white insect, Dactylopius coccus. When crushed, its body exudes a brilliant red color. Cochineal has been used as a coloring for foods and makeup for centuries.
It’s all natural. It’s approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eating insects is newly trendy in San Francisco and Los Angeles. And, as NPR’s Martin Kaste has reported, cochineal is gathered off cactus by poor people in Peru, who use their earnings to feed their families and send their children to school.
So what’s not to like? A lot, apparently, if you’re a vegetarian.
A website, ThisDishIsVegetarian.com, reported on March 14 on the chain’s use of cochineal in strawberry Frappuccinos. Evidently a distressed barista sent a photo of the strawberry flavoring’s label, which listed cochineal.