Starbucks’ Strawberry frappuccinos might look vibrant and delicious on the outside but they’re not exactly the most appetizing on the inside. A new statement released by the coffee giant reveals that insects are used in the making of the tasty drinks.
This week, Starbucks confirmed that they use cochineal extract (ground-up bodies of insects) as an ingredient in the strawberry fraps to dye the delightful drinks their signature bubblegum pink color.
While the thought of crushed up insects in your freshly-made frappuccino isn’t exactly what you would call appetizing, it’s more common than you think. In fact, cochineal extract has been used in foods and drinks like jams, meats, cheeses and alcoholic drinks for centuries. According to Starbucks, this particular ingredient is deemed safe by the FDA and is a healthier ingredient than artificial alternatives.
Vegan Starbucks enthusiasts might want to hold off on sipping back any strawberry fraps until this controversy comes to a close, though. According to animal rights and eco-friendly news site, ThisDishIsVegetarian.com, cochineal extract makes this refreshing drink non-vegan. Starbucks agrees with the statement, telling its consumers “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.”
Something tells me this news will have very little impact on loyal Starbucks consumers.
Foodbeat wants to know: Will you still enjoy a strawberry frap, even though they contain crushed up insects?
Update: Starbucks has announced they will be changing their ingredients after the backlash they received from consumers over the insect controversy.