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Starbucks To Stop Using Bug Extract To Colour Frappuccinos, Cakes

graceyoongraceyoon Posts: 3,329Friend of Soompi


Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, plans to stop using an extract made of dried insects to colour some Frappuccinos and pastries after an online campaign asked for the ingredient to be removed.

The retailer said today it will phase out by June use of a red dye derived from cochineal insects, a tropical bug found in Mexico and South America. The colourant will be replaced with lycopene, a tomato extract, the Seattle-based company said in a statement on its website.

More than 6,500 people had signed a petition asking Starbucks to stop using the insects because it isn’t vegan, kosher, and consumers “don’t want crushed bugs in their designer drinks.” The extract had been used in the company’s Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, Strawberry Banana Smoothie, raspberry swirl cake, birthday cake pop, mini doughnut with pink icing and red velvet whoopee pie, according to the statement.

“We’ve learned that we fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colourant,” Cliff Burrows, Starbucks president for the U.S. and the Americas, said in the statement. “As our customers you expect and deserve better — and we promise to do better.”



"don't want crushed bugs in their designer drinks" haha that line had me laughing :lol:


  • starzlem93starzlem93 Posts: 25Member
    good thing I never tried anything strawberry in Starbucks! PHEW
    [font="'Trebuchet MS"]Sing and dance your heart out~[/font]All for the Lord~! Defying gravity since 1993
  • shajiepacmanshajiepacman Posts: 105Member
    why were they using bugs in the 1st place?
  • fly_satsukifly_satsuki Posts: 13New Member
    shajiepacman wrote on 20 April 2012 - 03:58 AM:

    why were they using bugs in the 1st place?

    it's cheaper, i guess. you know, industry --> money...
  • graceyoongraceyoon Posts: 3,329Friend of Soompi


    edited April 2012
    ^ since most of our products are made overseas i guess that includes bugs too lol

    starzlem93 wrote on 19 April 2012 - 11:44 PM:

    good thing I never tried anything strawberry in Starbucks! PHEW

    lol u would think the strawberry alone could dye it.. i mean when i make strawberry smoothies at home it sure doesn't leave my drink looking white...

    i drink starbucks coffee straight from the tap but i have once tried their birthday cake pop and red velvet whoopee pie but with or without bugs they weren't that great anyway
  • pianogirl591pianogirl591 CanadaPosts: 156Member
    fly_satsuki wrote on 20 April 2012 - 12:03 AM:

    it's cheaper, i guess. you know, industry --> money...

    Starbucks drinks certainly isn't what I would consider cheap... they're a complete rip-off imho :mellow:
  • isale8792isale8792 Posts: 33Member
    I am from I can tell you that this bugs live on Prickly pear´s plant but they dont moove or do something besides being just over the plant. dry.gif, ummm I didnt know they were edible least my mom told me companies use them to produce ink and to dye clothes. UHFFF! the only thing I buy from "Starbugs" is their awesome frapuchino caramel biggrin.gif
  • graceyoongraceyoon Posts: 3,329Friend of Soompi


    starbugs!!! lol love it
  • o_o;;o_o;; Posts: 571Member


    This was unexpected.
    But "Lycopene"... pffffff. I've always wondered what that was after hearing it in K-On.
  • str4wberri3sstr4wberri3s New YorkPosts: 312Member
    lol........ good thing the only thing i get there is the vanilla bean frap :>
  • Peace_UPPeace_UP BIGBANG VIP HawaiiPosts: 418Friend of Soompi


    edited April 2012
    pianogirl591 wrote on 19 April 2012 - 06:21 PM:

    Starbucks drinks certainly isn't what I would consider cheap... they're a complete rip-off imho :mellow:

    I think they're talking about making it that way is cheaper for the company and then they can sell it for their rip-off prices to make more profit. :/

    >_> I used to drink their Strawberries and creme frappuccinos. D: nooo.
  • YoyoYoyo Posts: 5,677Moderator


    I'm so darn glad I've never tried any of their strawberry or anything pink/red whatever from them.

    image image

  • melkimxmelkimx momoPosts: 6,066Administrator


    isn't that the same dye used in a lot of lipsticks?

  • nobody knowsnobody knows what I think outof thisworldPosts: 13,096Member


    ^isn't it used in anything that's red? red skittles, m&ms, sprinkles, etc?
  • simplicity-xsimplicity-x Posts: 4New Member
    edited April 2012
    "Health fears over artificial food additives, however, have renewed the popularity of cochineal dyes"

    I'm pretty sure everyone has ingested this dye pretty regularly from various products.

    "Cochineal is one of the few water-soluble colourants that resist degradation with time. It is one of the most light- and heat-stable and oxidation-resistant of all the natural organic colourants and is even more stable than many synthetic food colours.[29] The water-soluble form is used in alcoholic drinks with calcium carmine; the insoluble form is used in a wide variety of products. Together with ammonium carmine, they can be found in meat, sausages, processed poultry products (meat products cannot be coloured in the United States unless they are labeled as such), surimi, marinades, alcoholic drinks, bakery products and toppings, cookies, desserts, icings, pie fillings, jams, preserves, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, varieties of cheddar cheese and other dairy products, sauces, and sweets.[29]Carmine is considered safe enough for use in eye cosmetics.[30] A significant proportion of the insoluble carmine pigment produced is used in the cosmetics industry for hair- and skin-care products, lipsticks, face powders, rouges, and blushes.[29] A bright red dye and the stain carmine used in microbiology is often made from the carmine extract, too.[15] The pharmaceutical industry uses cochineal to colour pills and ointments."

    taken from
  • Chasing-A-FairytaleChasing-A-Fairytale Posts: 1,288Member


    why were they using bugs in the 1st place?
    I think it's cause a lot of food colouring (take red food colouring is apparently made out of Beatles or something) so I guess since some people like drinks artificially made they'll use food colouring.
  • imsomessedupimsomessedup POOTIS Posts: 645Member


    so that's why everything is so expensive now
  • BrosephBroseph Posts: 347Member


    Cochineal dye has been used for centuries.  It is a natural food coloring, not a synthetic one. The synthetic ones can cause cancer.  Americans get upset about eating insects, but the reality is that you eat insects all the time. You just don't realize it.  Whether you eat any processed food or organic food, there is likely some insect guts in there.  

    Lycopene is fine as a food coloring.  It's just tomato extract or carrot extract.  I don't think it is as stable or lasts as long as carmine, so it would probably need some preservative to maintain the color fastness. 
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