Published on March 30th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Starbucks Drawing Ire From Vegans, Everyone For Using Crushed Beetle Coloring in Frappucinos
The use of cochineal coloring- or carmine- in red and pink foods isn’t a new thing, and people who know the origin of the edible pigment often avoid it just due to straight-up grossness.
If you haven’t been forced to gag on the fruit punch you’d currently been drinking by a know-it-all friend, the food coloring is essentially derived from the crushed-up shells of cockroach-like beetles. Oh, yes. Totally gross, if you think about it, and the reason why I missed out on the sunset years of my favorite 90’s juice, Mauna Lai. So, are you into Strawberries & Crème Frappuccinos?
Bad news today if the answer is yes and you aren’t into eating creepy crawlies. Actually, the ingredient is incredibly common, and chances are if you consume red-colored things (you’ll wrest my Diet Coke Shirley Temples from my cold dead hands, I don’t care if they’re made from hobo pubes) you’re already getting a pretty regular dose of crushed bugs in your everyday diet. And it’s not just “frankenfoods” that contain cochineal coloring- some yogurts by major national brands and cereals by makers like Kellogg’s contain the squicky ingredient.
However, vegans are really getting their panties into a knot over the ingredient’s inclusion- which does, unfortunately, count as eating living things. And sadly for Starbucks, it’s like they can do no right- the company made the modification to Starbucks Strawberry & Crème Frappuccinos as part of a move away from artificial ingredients.
Of course, there is a Change.org petition going to get the crushed bugs out of Starbucks’ & Strawberry Crème Frappuccinos, and more than 700 angry vegans have signed.