Starbucks Will Stop Using Beetle Juice For Food Coloring
"We Fell Short Of Your Expectations"
Starbucks is done bugging you with its gross food coloring. The coffee giant has announced that it will no longer use coloring made from crushed beetles in its drinks, and will switch to a tomato extract instead.
Starbucks announced in a blog post that, beginning in June, it will cease to use coloring taken from crushed cochineal beetles in its products and will instead switch to lycopene, a tomato-based extract.
"After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible," wrote Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks U.S.
Cochineal dye, also known as Carmine, is a bright red color produced by some scale insect beetles. It's made by boiling dried insects in water and extracting the carminic acid.
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The resulting dye is used in certain cosmetic brands and foods, including Starbuck's Strawberry Frappuccinos, Raspberry Swirl Cakes and Mini Donuts with red icing.
The practice was first revealed by a vegan Starbucks employee who informed a blogger of the company's switch from artificial dye to the bug juice. The story soon blew up, grossing out anyone who's ever been to the coffee chain.
But now Starbucks has swiftly answered protests and gross-outs by dropping its bug recipe from coffee. Maybe now it will finally get rid of the mouse feces.