March 28th, 2012
07:46 PM ET
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Dried, crushed cochineal beetles add the red tint to Starbucks' strawberry and cream cappucino. The Food and Drug Administration says they're safe to consume, but vegetarians are awfully bugged out by the revelation.

Previously - Health department bugs out over grasshopper tacos and I scream, you scream, we all scream when there are cicadas in the ice cream

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Filed under: Chain • Coffee • HLN • Sip • Starbucks • Taboos • Television • Vegetarian

soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Bear Grylls

    Bugs. Yummy!! Good source of protein and they keep your energy level up.

    Give us that plate of black beetles, Mate... that's a good lad.

    March 30, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  2. bugaboo

    I'm waiting for the double, tall, iced, skinny roach special. Yum.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  3. kittyzen

    I have a massive headache, now.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:45 am |
  4. Paula

    If you have ever eaten M & M's, specifically the red ones then you have eaten bugs. It's used in alot of the red dye you see in candy and red foods to make it look redder.

    March 30, 2012 at 3:36 am |
  5. Bluemoon

    I'm happy its bugs, red 40 is just bad stuff. You squeamish people need to be left on a hill for a few days

    March 30, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Chris

      What the Hell is wrong with you people?????!!!! What the hell do you mean you don't care that bugs are in your food! Insanity!! When I buy lettuc and I see bugs in it...I throw it out. I have a RIGHT not to eat anything that I would not chose to and our government has long robbed it citizens of that choice but no wonder with idiots like most of you giviing the ok on everything. I won't even bother tellling you how many chemicals the FDA has approved to be in our food that are actually killing all of us. Of course, what do any of you care. Nasty Freaks!!!!!!

      March 30, 2012 at 12:54 am |
      • Schmedley

        Get over yourself already

        March 30, 2012 at 1:02 am |
        • Barque

          So your opposed to chemicals in your food? Why do you think this method of coloring is being used? To avoid the use of chemicals. Besides its the acid in their bodies that is used. Maybe if you bother to look up the ingredients they post on manufactured food you would discover you were informed. The very definition of the ingredient would be your first clue Become more involved in life. Stop complaining as you sit ingesting spoon fed information.

          March 30, 2012 at 1:17 am |
      • Time for your medication

        Shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere?

        March 30, 2012 at 2:25 am |
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – cochineal dye has been used for over 500 years in the West – longer in South America. You've eaten it many times, along with plenty of bugs from other sources. Bugs are everywhere.

        Cochineal is used because it's a natural coloring, unlike the more commonly used synthetic dyes which many people object to. Cherry juice is another natural red coloring that is frequently used; it also contains loads of juiced bugs.

        March 30, 2012 at 2:34 am |
      • SixDegrees

        Also – how is Starbucks NOT telling you what's in their drink? They're going out of their way to do so, and their choice of coloring is based on customer demand.

        March 30, 2012 at 2:42 am |
      • Do tell...

        Killing us? I wonder why the life expectancy of people in the US continues to rise? Kinda shoots holes in your argument.

        March 30, 2012 at 6:03 am |
        • pensimmon

          They want us sick, but not dead. If we're sick we provide more money for Big Pharma, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies etc. Better to eat in the healthiest way possibly- live LONG and WELL.

          March 30, 2012 at 11:03 am |
      • JRR

        It must be rough, going through life, being so paranoid. Whatever you do, don't Google "dust mites", you will go right over the edge. You would not believe what is crawling over your skin right now.
        Have a nice day.

        March 30, 2012 at 7:52 am |
        • pensimmon

          Good point JRR! Insects are an essential part of the natural cycle. Our eyelashes have little bugs in them- helps clean our eyes- google them if you don't believe me!

          March 30, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • jute

        Please don't ever read the FDA manufacturing requirements that tell you how many parts per million of bugs, etc. are allowed in processing. You may never eat again.

        March 30, 2012 at 8:09 am |
      • Basil

        A recent study concluded that the average person eats approximately 2 pounds of insect parts and rodent hairs a year through their normal consumption of processed foods. The FDA allows certain levels of “natural contaminants” in our food. For example, a bowl of spaghetti is permitted 200 or so bug fragments—one for every gram of pasta—fifteen fly eggs, and a maggot. So now that you know that there are fly eggs, rodent hair, mold, and fecal matter in everything that you buy I guess you can cross grocery shopping off your to-do list.

        March 30, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • aebe

        Bugs can make for a greatmeal,or even a snack ! Bar b qued grasshoppers,lightly brushed with chili and garlic sauce,pull the wings off and enjoy !
        Tell the FDA you don't want bugs in your processed foods.Or the ones fresh from your garden.

        Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights.Carry.
        And the 78 guage shells for hunting bugs are inexpensive.Don't forget your license.

        March 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
      • EatbugsYUM

        Hellooooo! Do you have any idea how many bugs are in the grains you eat. You know the rice, breads, wheat, pancake mix whatever other kind of grain you eat? You know how you get weevil once in a while in your flour? Yea, its pretty much always in there. I actually freeze my flour products to keep them babies from hatching. Only cause I don't like to see them floating in my oatmeal! haha! I still am completely aware that they are there! hehe!

        Hmmm... of course I live on a ranch where grains are grown and the likes. So I am probably a lot more calm about those kinds of things. Hell I know I have rats both under my house and in my attic! Frogs love jumping across my living room floor, and I have even found them half way up my walls! Hello! Hell we once had a rat the size of a large cat in our house stealing peanut butter cookies! We have mosquitoes the size of house flies out here! So I guess you know I am laughing pretty hard at you. You must be a city boy!

        March 31, 2012 at 2:07 am |
      • sciguy73

        Then stay home and only consume foods you've grown and prepared yourself and be quiet. You made the choice to eat foods prepared by others. You don't have a right to know whats in it. You only have a right to choose where you eat.

        March 31, 2012 at 9:43 am |
      • Krum

        If you're going to throw out produce because there is/was a bug on it, you might as well start starving yourself to death now. All produce has or has had bugs in/on it at some point.
        People that aren't disgusted by the fact that we've all eaten bugs inadvertantly at some point are realists, not nuts.

        April 7, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  6. realanise

    Actually, it's true that using crushed cochineal beetles in strawberry products has been done at least since Victorian times I researched it once for a historical novel. So it's got a long, long history, and honestly, if you've ever breathed outdoors during the spring, you HAVE eaten bugs. ;)

    March 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  7. Yumm

    Thirty trillion spiders can't be wrong. Enjoy!

    March 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  8. LOLOL

    Bugs are in everything and crawling all over us right now relax.... They are great source of protein and in this case you get to eat them without feeling like a contestant on fearfactor. :)

    March 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  9. corntrader19

    I am not a frog or lizard. I don't eat bugs! Lisa, I agree with you: We should be told if there are ingredients made out
    of insects. I won't touch another Starbucks drink! My husband tells me the bread industry puts SAWDUST in our bread! I think sawdust should be listed on the package with the rest of the ingredients. It is deceitful not tell us what is our food.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • mickey1313

      THe way companies have lobbied and gotten the rights to say what they want on food packages is sad. Carmel coloring, that is made from amonia, not suger. Nutra-sweet, that is made from "complex hydrocarbons" now if you dont know what that is, it is gasoline, and other form of petrol. All processed food is poision.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – how is Starbucks NOT telling you what's in your drink? They're going out of their way to let you know, and to accommodate other customers who demanded a natural red coloring rather than the synthetic, petroleum-based alternatives more commonly used. They could probably have also used cherry juice – another common red coloring – but you should be aware that cherry juice is also chock full of juiced bugs. Bugs are everywhere. You eat them everyday.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:38 am |
      • John Hillman

        Starbucks only "told" us after someone investigated and revealed the truth which left SB with the option of confirming the truth or lying.

        There is just TOO MUCH stuff hidden in our food because the FDA says it is safe. ("pink slime" in hamburger)

        March 30, 2012 at 5:57 am |
        • SixDegrees

          That is simply false. There is an ingredient list posted at every Starbucks I've ever been to, and there has been for at least several years.

          March 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Down the hatch

      You just THINK that you don't eat bugs. You do.

      March 30, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  10. Jubei

    There is nothing wrong with eating certain bugs. It's better than fake, artificial, chemically recreated stuff. Be glad it's all natural and not chemically reproduced ingredients.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • sciguy73

      You do realize that water is a chemical, right?

      March 31, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Jubei

        You do realize water is not man made. Duh! lmfao

        April 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  11. stevieboy

    what, oh who, coffee, get me some f*cking coffee, ah, Starbuck's! pull in!

    March 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  12. julzrael

    No need for debate. Bugs = ew whether they have been used for hundreds of years or not, called another name or not, or whatever, I do not WANT to eat bugs. Thank you very much. They need to use a DIFFERENT not harmful or gross color (like in this case, the natural strawberry) – imagine the jobs we could create to find that color, NOT made from...*shudder* BUGS !!!! FOUL FOUL FOUL!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      There's always the old standby, Red Dye #2.

      If you don't like eating bugs, stop eating. Bugs are everywhere; you eat several every day.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • John Hillman

        The red color adds no taste to the food. Strawberry flavor can be created simply in a high school chemistry lab.

        March 30, 2012 at 5:59 am |
    • Schmedley

      If you're starving to death, you'll eat bugs. I guarantee it. You're just a spoiled snotball that actually has the privilige of choosing what they want to eat.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    Anyone who puts anything in coffee besides a bit of milk deserves what they get. If you really hate coffee so much, go to Denney's where it doesn't qualify.

    March 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • lol

      Anyone who puts anything on their burger besides a bit of ketchup deserves what they get. If you really hate burgers so much, go to k&w where it doesn't qualify.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Cup O' Joe and more

      Milk has bugs. Go fish!

      March 30, 2012 at 6:09 am |
      • Guppy Lips

        Where do I find teeny tiny bug-fishing poles?

        March 30, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • RUanIdiot?

        I have seen the story of a person finding bugs in a gallon of milk and claims of a bug being found in cheese but I have not seen anything about the majority of milk containing any bugs other then the natural microbes and bacterium that are part of the actual milk that comes straight out of the cow, goat or other milk producing animal or even humans!
        Where did you get your facts about there being bugs (I assume you mean the creepy, crawly insect kind we are talking about here) in milk?

        March 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  14. SixDegrees

    Better not tell the vegans about what the shellac on their Birkenstocks is made from...

    March 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tiger Lily

      You can buy Birkenstocks that do not contain leather or shellac. Many people do. Also, many people who would not EAT meat are comfortable using leather goods. Everyone should draw their own lines where their consciences tell them to, and not impose THEIR values on others, or degrade others because their lines don't coincide with where you draw yours. Unless you want to eat me or mine, and then I will be delighted to impose my Second Amendment values upon you.

      March 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        Not my point – which was, that far too often those who whine the loudest are the least aware of the hypocrisy that permeates their own drab, wretched lives.

        March 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
        • mickey1313

          example, the leader of the terrorist group PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) is a type 1 diabetic. That means even though this dumb ignorant broad claim that all animal testing is torture and that zoos are slavery, she used pig insulin to live every day of her life. But because it is HER it is okay.

          March 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
        • sciguy73

          Actually Mickey, diabetics generally use synthetic human insulin made using recombinant DNA techniques in a lab. There is even a version of it made in safflower plants. Humans respond better to human insulin than to pig or cow insulin, so animal insulins are not generally used anymore.

          March 31, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  15. Tiger Lily

    This is like those disgusting Smart Balance so-called dairy products that contain FISH. When meat products (and bugs are meat) show up in places where no one in his or her right mind would expect them, like a milkshake type drink, yes, it is gross, objectionable and disgusting. I seriously doubt if I can be perfectly vegan/vegetarian, but I can certainly TRY. To diss people because they MIGHT ACCIDENTALLY consume something they don't want to consume is ridiculous. So - you eat that nice steak and it turns out to be whale, horse, ape or human. Not upset that they didn't warn you? Not upset that you ate an animal that you didn't want to? That you think should not be consumed by humans? What is the difference? Does this mean you are a stupid fool to not be a cannibal ALL THE TIME? No. It means you were hoodwinked, either accidentally, or, as in the case of *$, on purpose.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Uh – cochineal has been used as a dye and food coloring for over 500 years in the West, and longer in South America, where it derives from. You've eaten plenty of it. And if you're really that hypersensitive about such things, it's your responsibility to read the ingredients – which are readily available at Starbucks and elsewhere.

      Meanwhile, bugs are everywhere, and whether you like it or not you eat several of them every day.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • ajk68

      What a waste not to eat meat. There's a reason it tastes good to us. mmmmmmm meat !!!!!
      Cows are probably really upset when we don't eat them. I can just see a cow out in a pasture thinking, I'd make a real good steak right now. Why presume cows have the same sensibilities you have? Especially since cows don't have sensibilities!

      March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Laurette

      Tiger Lilly,
      I want to adopt you,

      March 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • NoHater

      Good job Tiger Lily, I totally agree!

      March 31, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  16. SherwoodOR

    cochineal beetles have been used as a red food coloring for perhaps a 100 years. There's hardly an American alive who hasn't eaten cochineal beetles.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Actually, more like 500 years. In the West, anyway. Their use in Aztec culture stretches much farther back in time.

      I don't see a reason for anyone to be upset given that the ingredients are listed. It's up to the hypersensitive to perform their own due diligence; if they don't want to bother learning what a given ingredient is, I'm not interested in their whining.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • ajk68

      Native Americans used cochineal beetles. Aren't Native Americans supposed to be the epitome of oneness with nature?

      March 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • mickey1313

        one with nature does not mean lilly livered anti-food vegans, it means they knew what everything was ad was for, and used every plant animal great and small to live there lives the best they could. They were not afraid to kill to survive, only vegans are afraid to kill to survive.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:44 am |
        • ajk68

          Exactly my point.

          March 30, 2012 at 2:33 am |
        • EK

          Actually, for most vegans, the issue isn't with killing animals for food, it's with factory farming and mistreatment of the animals before they are killed for food. You won't find many instances of native Americans de-beaking chickens and cramming 6 of them in a crate so small they can't move their wings or beating small pigs to death because they aren't growing fast enough. You likely won't find any instances of mad cow disease in native American history (a disease which is commonly spread through feeding cattle brain matter of other infected cattle)

          I'm not a vegan (still eat lots of fish), and I'm not ethically opposed to killing animals for food, but I am highly opposed to mistreating animals simply to maximize their profit potential.

          That said – who gives a rat's patootie about a few bugs in your coffee? I get more than that in my teeth riding a motorcycle :)

          March 30, 2012 at 6:27 am |
  17. FedUp2

    Guess what, carapace is a major ingredient of most jellied candies, like gummi-bears. It used to be mainly horse hoofs that were used for gelatins that produce many different food products and nail strengtheners, now they use mostly bugs, but some animals still as well. Look it up! These people have probably eating bugs most everyday in one form or another and never even suspected it. Beats a lot of the toxic waste chemicals used that probably cause cancer and birth defects.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Tiger Lily

      Gelatin is a MEAT PRODUCT and vegetarians and vegans watch out for it everywhere. WE aren't the people who don't know what is in gummy candies or jellied salads, and we ask, and avoid. Omnivores are often shocked at what is in their foods. They don't even know what gelatin IS.
      Asian cultures use non-meat gelling agents like agar-agar (aka kanten) or Irish Moss (aka carageenan) or what is called "kosher gelatin" which is (usually) carageenan, but sometimes kanten, but, if you ask your local Rabbi, definitely NOT MEAT.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
      • Charlotte

        Horses hooves have to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Perhaps if they use the trimmings instead of chopping the feet off a dead horse, then the gelatin could be eaten by a vegetarian? I chew on my own nails, that's all it amounts to. On the other hand, I don't suppose the volume of trimmings would be enough to support the Jell-O industry. Sounds like a great way to get rid of Jell-O.

        March 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  18. Fiona

    I'm vegetarian ( a real one, not one of those but-I-eat-fish-and-chicken fakes) and I had to laugh at this. Don't these people realize how many bug parts are in flour, pulses, beans, dried berries, canned and frozen veggies, spices (really filthy) and herbs? Even Jainists realize you might inadvertently trod on or ingest an insect. Get over it and find a real cause, guys.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  19. Geezer

    I prefer the "Mango Catapiller" smoothie myself

    March 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  20. adam

    What doesn't upset vegetarians?

    March 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • doo mahs

      Hemp-filled granola bars dipped in tofu, eaten while wearing Birkenstocks & smoking a hookah pipe filled with herb.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        Hellz, yeah.

        March 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • ajk68

        I don't understand why vegans don't respect plant life as much as animals. They're all food.

        March 30, 2012 at 2:35 am |
      • Beth

        Ignorant, reactionary stereotyping much?

        March 30, 2012 at 3:16 am |
        • doo mahs

          Nope! Answerin' a query with an open, honest perspective. Hurts to be judged, don't it?

          March 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • harrym

      A better question is: "why are people so easily upset by the existence of vegetarians"? Why do you care?

      Last I checked, it was more than vegetarians who are squeamish about eating bugs, and it wasn't vegetarians who got all queasy about "pink slime".

      If McDonalds was using dog or cat meat in their hamburgers, you'd find a lot of upset carnivores out there.

      In fact, just what doesn't upset carnivores? They're upset by eating bugs, they're upset by eating dogs or cats, they're upset by pink slime, and they're upset by vegetarians!

      March 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
      • mickey1313

        dog or cat would not bother me, ive had hourse and it was great. The pink slime bothers me beacuse it is an amonia based product. I do not buy pre-ground meat, because 100% of it is aminiated and chloranated (thats bleach). Fast food, and all processed food is GROSS. I am an omnivore, but I dont want chemicals and things that are not food in my food, btw all processed food has a certen level of bugs and bug parts that are alowed, it is a side effect of the factory process, it is unavoidable.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • adam

        Why so upset?

        March 30, 2012 at 11:53 am |
        • doo mahs

          Because Cheerios and urine don't mix?

          March 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  21. jeff

    doesnt bug me at all

    March 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • joe kenadee

      Bugs are not meat. If you are a vegetarian and don't think bugs should be a part of your diet why are you eating veggies? I have a garden bugs like veggies I pick them out you really think commercial farms get all the bugs out before they put your Veggies in bags?

      March 29, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  22. Wrong

    The person who wrote this doesn't know their Starbucks is a strawberry and cream frappuccino. This is not a coffee drink... it is basically like a strawberry milkshake.... and very yummy.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Fiona

      And 420 calories, 108 of those from fat. It's the fat they should worry about, not the bugs.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  23. chris

    What about all the bugs that are crushed by the agricultural equipment used to make their tofu and bean sprouts? Collateral damage?

    March 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • barrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrffffffffffffffffffffff

      Exactly. Bugs already get into everything. And due to their prolification are probably more sustainable – and good for the planet – then crops are.

      That said, as a meatinarian, I avoid Starbucks anyway. Just go chomp on a 1 pound tub of butter or eat 10 pints of Hagen Dasz if you're going to drink that sugary Starbucks junk.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • David

        You're speaking all or nothing which is incorrect. I simply order a Starbucks "Americano" and put into it whatever I like although I drink it black

        March 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  24. CJ

    This is news? Food dyes have been made this way for many, many years. This was never a secret...

    March 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  25. anna

    I am not a vegetarian but I wouldnt drink this coffee either! Yuk

    March 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • doo mahs

      I'm with you anna. "Strawberry and cream cappucino?" I don't care what makes it's color, that's not coffee. That's a fru-fru concoction made for people who don't like coffee. I'll take a grande, black, to go. That usually throw's the drive thru folks into a tizzy.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
      • theunreadblogger

        Yes, black coffee. Not crushed beetle dung flavored triple whip crappafroofroo drinks for wimpy poseurs. And Who goes to Starbucks anyway? That's so 1998.

        March 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
        • doo mahs

          "triple whip crappafroofroo drinks"
          Can't ... breathe ... laughing .... too .... hard .... oh .... the tears ...

          Thanks. I SO needed that today.

          March 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
        • woodzillla the superthrilla

          "Who want's an orange whip? Orange whip? Orange whip? Three orange whips." - John Candy, the Blues Bros.

          March 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
        • mickey1313

          Most coffie drinkers would be sad if they knew how coffie was discovered. And anyone who has seen the strawberry drink as Starbucks and thinks that is a natural color for the strawberries... I want to know where you by that color berries. Personally I stick with a vente carmal machiato with an extra shot and extra caramel. It is breakfast, coffie, and desert all wrapped into one, and it keeps me wired for 5-6 hours.

          March 30, 2012 at 12:56 am |
        • theunreadblogger

          How was coffee discovered? I hope it was something disgusting. You reminded me of Sumatran civet coffee, I really want to try it. They say its the sh!t.

          Blues Brothers is the greatest. Too many quotable lines and great music.

          March 30, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Aloisae

      The writer was incorrect. The Starbucks drink containing cochineal extract is a frappuccino.. basically a strawberry milkshake.. not a cappuccino. It is one of the coffee free drinks on the Starbucks menu.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  26. jj

    The vegans don't like it? The cochineal beetles aren't too happy about it. either.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Luna

      Ha! :-)

      April 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  27. dragonwife1

    There are many ingredients that are made from natural sources that would disgust some people. They're processed before being used, though, not just thrown in willy-nilly. The next time you pop a marshmallow into your hot chocolate, remember gelatin is derived from tasty things like animal hooves. And I'm sure most people don't have a problem with organic vegetables grown using animal manure as fertilizer (now there's a conundrum for those who won't use "any animal products"!). I'm personally not a big Starbuck's fan, but I certainly don't take issue with them using an extremely common coloring ingredient in some of their products. I do agree that large companies like this should have ingredient and nutrition info available both at the kiosks and on their website, so if a person is allergic to or has dietary or moral objections to a particular ingredient, he/she can avoid foods containing it.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tiger Lily

      Yes. This. BTW, veg types DO know what goes into their food, and tend to be cautious. My horses, who are vegetarians, supply manure for my garden. That's an animal product that doesn't hurt the animal, but does help the plants, and my family. The point isn't that it is an animal PRODUCT, in that it is produced by an animal, but that nothing about its production, collection or use harms the animal. Honey, OTOH, unless you know your source, is often harvested by killing the bees, and I do not use it unless I know the source.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
      • Tiger Lily

        And if I have to have a marshmallow (necessary for S'mores), I make my own using kanten, which, in case you didn't know this, gives a much nicer texture to any gelled product.

        March 29, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  28. Guest

    Big deal
    The fast food places in my area have been using bugs in their food and drinks for years

    March 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  29. Pat F

    Why is Starsky and Bucks being crucified for this? Every glass of pink lemonade in the world uses this. Note to World: Lemons are yellow.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Seriously

      Yeah really!

      March 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Not every glass of pink lemonade. Most homemade pink lemonades don't contain it because they either use fruit juice (such as raspberry or strawberry or pomegranate) to color the lemonade or else Rose's grenadine (which I believe is the most widely sold brand) . Going on the Rose's grenadine ingredient list online, I'd actually prefer them to use cochineal extract.. instead they seem to use red dye #40 which is a petroleum derivative. Personally, I use a homemade grenadine made from pomegranates when I make it... it results in a softer, dusky rose pink lemonade as opposed to the bright pink of commercial brands.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        Pretty much all fruit juice is chock full of juiced bugs. Visit a juicing plant or cider mill sometime.

        March 30, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  30. rich

    So what do they use to make the coffee dark brown, bear poop?

    March 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  31. Nicholasct

    Isn't everyone off of the original point? The original idea is food preparers are using substances without disclosing the ingredients to the buyer. Shame on Starbucks!

    March 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Amy Romero

      Actually, they did disclose it. That's why we're talking about it. They didn't have to. These bugs are used to color LOTS of foods we don't realize. Have been for hundreds of years. They didn't have to disclose it, but they did....I applaud them!

      March 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Hmmm

      Look up that beetle. Its in almost everything red/orange/pink that we eat or drink. Been that way for years. Just google it

      March 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Aloisae

      My position on this is that it is up to the person with the limited diet to do at least a very basic level of due diligence. I've know for decades now that carmine and cochineal extract (found both in foods and in cosmetics) is derived from beetles... and I'm not even vegan, just couldn't avoid finding this out as a vegetarian. Since 2011, in the US at least these have had to be specifically listed as ingredients and can no longer be masked as ambiguous "artificial color". Starbucks wasn't hiding anything... they can't. The vegans complaining are just lazy.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • jmaxx30

      This is why Bug Juice is called Bug Juice.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  32. Ally

    I have no problem with Starbucks using this coloring in their product.

    My only problem is that I go to their website and I don't see a list of ingredients. In this day and age people need access to ingredient lists so they can make the best decisions about what's going into their bodies.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  33. levi

    Who put that wiley wasscal in my coffee.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  34. levi

    Yes, and there is a bug in my margaritta!

    March 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  35. Lisa

    I want to know what is in all my food. It should be my choice if I want to eat bugs or not. I want companies to tell me and everyone else what is in the food they are selling us. Let consumers decide what they are willing to put in their bodies. The problem is not the bugs, but the fact that companies hide what they are using in foods they are selling. AND H*LL NO I"M NOT WILLINGLY EATING BUGS. I get enough supply sleeping with my mouth open snoring every night thank you very much.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Anna

      Thanks for the nightmares, Lisa.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sara

      You're eating bugs. Google "food defect action levels", and check the FDA site link.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Then avoid anything with carmine or cochineal extract on the label. It is also, by the way, found in the majority of red hued cosmetics to depending on your level of discomfort with eating bugs you might want to check your lipstick (if any) ingredients as well.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Then you're going to have to stop eating everything, because bugs are everywhere and you undoubtedly eat quite a few each and every day.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  36. dnfromge

    I thought that was common knowledge about cochineal beetles and red food dye in general – not a big deal. In other parts of the world bugs can be a delicacy. As several other people have pointed out – if you eat grains, guess what – there will be bugs processed in. If you are vegan, just avoid red dye and all grains – simple.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • SherwoodOR

      Oh, and don't drink any water because there might be single-celled animals living in it.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
      • sciguy73

        Single celled creatures are not animals. They are protists. Different branch of the tree of life.

        March 31, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  37. Thomas

    I think companies like Starbucks should list all their ingredents so that consumers can make a witting decision.

    However, I don't think Starbucks needs to change their formula just because vegans/Veggies object.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • SixDegrees

      You mean like they've done in this case?

      March 30, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  38. tjp44

    there is also coffee where the beans are ingested by animals and retrieved after aboutr we just put pure poop in there;s a suggestion, what's wrong with the color real strawberries create.............IDIOTS

    March 29, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • asarmie6

      haha... this made me laugh.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Chris

      That would be the mocha frap..... or crap..... ;)

      March 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • JLM

      You are refering to Kopi Luak.
      The coffee cherries are eaten by Asian Palm Civets and the seeds/pits pass through. Supposedly the digestive process alters the chemistry of the bean and the resulting coffee is supposed to be incredible, but at about $400/lb I don;t think I will be trying it anytime soon.

      Of course this all begs the questions .... who first though of digging through poop for the beans?

      March 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  39. amgel


    March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  40. Beefburger

    Uhm, that is what red food dye is made out of now. Since the end of Red Dye #2 they have been using this Red Dye #4. Don't just blame Starbucks, it is EVERYWHERE. The red icing on that birthday cake? Guess what.....?

    March 29, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Aloisae

      There is also a red dye #40 (which is at least currently approved for use in food in the US, I believe, although there is some concern about a possible link to ADHD) which is a petroleum byproduct.

      Personally.. I'd rather eat the beetles....

      March 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • SherwoodOR

      Mr. Beefburger asks, "Uhm, that is what red food dye is made out of now."

      Now? No. This red dye has been in common use for perhaps a hundred years. This is nothing new.

      March 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  41. TexasTexasTexas

    EVERYBODY eats bugs pretty often. Cereal, oatmeal, etc have a % of bugs in the box. Many people survive on insect protein. If you don't like the idea, then don't go to Starbucks. I don't see this as newsworthy, except to spread the word that insects are ingredients.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • aebe

      Native folks that lived near Mono Lake,CA,used fly larvae as a staple food.Kinda bland.

      March 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  42. Brett

    insects are extraordinarily healthy and the most renewable of all protein sources on the planet, from a nutritional and environmental impact point of view, there should really be no complaints. I support vegetarians lifestyle choice, but if you consider environmental, health, ethical....etc reasons for making that decision, eating a bug now and again is really not that bad. Besides, they are likely getting plenty in all the grain products that they eat anyway.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:50 am |
  43. Rocket Surgeon

    Here's a fork in the road for ya: order something else or don't frequent to Starbux. Plenty of other places today sell good coffee.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:15 am |
  44. gina

    I'm extremely allergic to this ingredient; it's called "natural color," "carmine" and "cochineal extract" in many many foods and makeup and some medications (it's used to color things) ... beware, the bug is everywhere and the FDA has been fine with this for years!

    March 29, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Josh

      The FDA is also fine with pecans, which I am allergic to. Just because you or I have an allergy, doesn't make something bad or harmful. YOU have a problem, not the rest of the world. Don't blame anyone else.

      The world doesn't revolve around you.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • Johanna

        Yay Josh! Finally someone with some common sense about food allergies. Yes, allergies can be disastrous, but learn to adapt instead of making other people adapt to your issue.

        I'm allergic to wood smoke and synthetic scents like perfumes, but that doesn't mean the neighbors down the block can't have a bonfire or people can't wear perfume. It just means I steer clear of that crap.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
      • drahser

        That's not her point. Her point is that because she is allergic to "something," she has the right to know if that "something" is used in whatever she is consuming so that she can make an informed choice and avoid consuming it. It's not about the world revolving around a person, it's about allowing a person to control their own world.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
        • Amy Romero

          And she is aware. Because they disclosed the info. It's a NEW change, and they disclosed it. What else is there to talk about?

          March 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Kacey

        You can't steer clear of something if you don't know it in there!

        March 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
        • Common Sense

          Now she, and everyone else who's read this article, know and can steer clear. among other things, I'm allergic to cow's milk. I make sure if I order something that could contain what I'm allergic to, I ask. Anyone with an extreme allergy needs to ask that question. If the minimum wage clerk doesn't know, order something else.

          March 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • jj

        Speak for yourself, the world revolves around me.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Luckily for you, in the US the FDA has required since 2011 that carmine or cochineal extract be specifically listed and no longer can be labeled as "natural color" (or a variation thereof). It is specifically listed on the bottle used in Starbucks as cochineal extract. If you have a concern.. either ethical or health related.. about this product, you really should ask. It isn't like it is hidden.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Beware of what? Unless you are allergic, this is safe and natural at least, unlike the artificial colors like Yellow 5, Red 40 et al. which are coal tar derivatives. The food industry thinks that food would look too bland and unappealing if they only used conventional ingredients to color our food. :/ But another thing is that eating bugs is not Halal or Kosher...

      March 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  45. smartass

    If a big corp cheats like this it is good business tactic....If a common man lies he is a felon !!!
    this is greedy wall street and phony capitalism...

    March 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • TE

      LOL..Ignorance is about today. People have been using this for coloring for thousands of years. It is a natural ingredient and not a chemical and that is cheating how exactly?

      March 29, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • sciguy73

        Water is a chemical. *Everything* is made from chemicals. You are made from chemicals. Get over it.

        March 31, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • Luna

        Early Aztec culture used the cochineal insect centuries ago....oh yeah, that's right...they also ripped out the beating and bloody hearts of their live sacrifices and potentially ate them, as well...

        April 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Aloisae

      Who are they cheating or lying too? The dye is common and well documented. I've known about it for decades and I'm not in the food industry or a chemist or anything.. just a semi-informed, and definitely not strict, vegetarian who couldn't avoid finding out about it with even a casual research into animal products in food. The ingredient is plainly written on the bottle of syrup used to make the drink in the ingredients list. If you ask in a store, they will tell you or you can contact Starbucks customer service about allergins (for what it is worth, there is also a soy derivative in the strawberries & creme frappaccino)... this isn't lying or hiding something. Consumers also have a minimal amount of responsibility to at least inquire about ingredients especially in cases such as this when the ingredient in question is an industry standard in this type of product (ie. red or pink food).

      March 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
      • Chris

        You people are sick!!! I guarantee if everyone knew they would not sell half of what they do and they know that which is why these things have NOT been made common knowledge. By the way, when I buy fresh vegetables or fruit I have the option of checking it and washing them to ensure that there are no bugs but not when some vile idiot decides for me!

        March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am |
        • TE

          ROFL...I did not realize you were being FORCED to drink this at all. Wow.

          March 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • aebe

      Not cheating.Also, natural,and unless the growers are using pesticides,organic.Check your lady's lipstick,it most likelycontains bug butts,too.Red dye number nomatter is the alternative.That,or do without.
      Are you one of them thar liberal progressive creatures,to instantly and unwarrantedly be seeking to poormouth folks ?

      Validate your 2nd amendment Rights.Carry.

      March 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • EaglesQuestions

      No, you can use the beetle dust dye, too.
      Go for it! It'll make for a pretty batch of cookies.

      And how is it cheating if the company is readily disclosing the information?

      April 3, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  46. xavi

    Think of all the bugs you inadvertently munch on when eating grains and vegetables. That's how I get my protein. Why the complaint?

    March 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • smartass

      ok good !! I keep avoiding them and you keep eating them ......thankyou

      March 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
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