The Starbucks Soap Opera... Fussing About The Wrong Thing?

Starbucks recently made news headlines across the world after it was revealed that the company used cochineal extract to give its popular Strawberry & Crème Frappuccino the rosy pink color many customers like.

What’s cochineal extract? Well, it’s derived from grinding up the dried bodies of cochineal bugs, found mostly in Mexico and South America and a coloring method that’s been going on since the 15th century.

Besides the expected negative reaction from vegetarians who were unaware of the ‘hidden’ ingredient, I’m baffled as to why so many people who aren’t vegetarians reacted the same way to the news.

In many cultures, insects are used for many various applications...mostly in food. Considering their sheer vast numbers, I really think there’s little concern for many of the commonly used species becoming extinct.

Sure, it may not be everyone’s idea of the ideal ingredient...but believe me, there’s more to be worried about this pink-colored drink than a few crushed beetles.

Just visit the Starbucks website and take a look at the Strawberry & Crème Frappuccino matter what size you choose or whether you want whipped cream or not, the minimum amount of sugar you’re likely to be ingesting with every drink is staggering!

It’s absolutely incredible that some people kick up a fuss about cochineal extract yet they’re more than willing to open themselves up to type-2 diabetes and several other health ailments directly related to regular excessive intakes of sugar.

If Starbucks could reduce the large amount of sugar in this drink and cut out the milk - which is hardly a healthy component of any beverage - they could actually have a reasonably healthy drink.

Instead of using artificial coloring, they’re using a natural harmless source. Even though it may not sound like pleasant to some people, I’m sure logic would prevail if you considered the chemical and synthetic alternatives.

3 Responses

There’s a million of these things … I COMPLETELY agree that the true offense is the mind numbing sugar, but … gelatin (Jello!) comes from animal bones. There’s chicken feathers in oreo cookies (helps emulsify the filling). An enzyme called rennet, extracted from the stomachs of deceased baby cattle, is used to help make most all cheeses (Sorry, Ovo-Lactos!). I tend to think the biggest issue is people are too relaxed in what they’ll put into their mouths. Stick to whole foods …

DJ April 05 2012

Truly agree. It is interesting to calculate how much sugar we consume on a day basis. Well written!

Jas April 13 2012

Recently Starbucks announced that they were closing the majority of their cafes in Australia as business was not adequate. This was because Australians (brought up on coffee demanded by the large post war Italian immigrant population), knew Starbucks to be … "The cafe you walk passed on your way to get a coffee!" ….

And NZ generally has better coffee than Australia (and fewer Starbucks).

Murray April 05 2012

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