A popular coffee brand has recently revealed that a well known beverage contains bugs!
Starbucks makes their Strawberry Frappuccinos with cochineal extract which is the ground-up bodies of insects used as a dye for the popular rose-coloured drink.
The bugs that come from South America or Mexico are dried out before they are ground and used in the milky formula to make the Frappuccino beverage.
The reason given for using cochineal extract was to reduce the amount of artificial ingredients in their products.The statement read,
“At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles and needs”. “While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes”.
Apparently, this is not entirely free of health risks as The World Heath Organisation found that cochineal extract may cause asthma or an allergic reaction in some people.
According to washingtonpost.com the company issued a statement defending its choice but also mentioning it will review other alternatives:
“As a company, we always strive to exceed our customers’ expectations and we take their feedback very seriously. Based on recent customer feedback, we learned that we fell short of these expectations by using cochineal extract. Cochineal extract is a commonly used ingredient and is a natural, FDA-approved colourant found in a wide variety of food and beverage products in the U.S.”
How do you feel about having your drink with bugs in it? I was shocked to hear this as it would have never crossed my mind. I would have never expected any brand to use such an ingredient in the first place, moreover serve it to their customers without any warning.