Ah, Easter. A day dedicated to junk food hiding beneath the guise of a religious veneer. How many of you today went out hiding eggs? And how many of you used food coloring to dye those eggs? And how much of that food coloring was made from bugs?
I ask because Starbucks is once again in the media. What did they do to earn the spotlight this time? They stopped using artificial food coloring agents and started using all natural dyes. Now this sounds like a good thing, right? So, why are people upset that Starbucks is using these natural dyes in their Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino’s? Because those drinks are dyed using crushed up cochineal bugs. And what are cochineal bugs?
Cochineal Beetles are native to Mexico and South America. They feed predominately on cacti, and most importantly, they make a pretty shade of red when crushed! These bugs are crushed up and put in everything from Yoplait Yogurts to Revlon lipstick to some Kellogg’s Poptarts – even in Popsicles! Basically, if it is colored red and has no artificial coloring then it is made from bugs!
In fact, the beetle has been used for almost 1,000 years to dye fabrics. This stuff is used almost everywhere! Because they produce Carminic acid, the dye is usually called carmine dye.
Vegans are up in arms with Starbucks, because they naturally want to avoid bug tainted coffee drinks. I don’t see what the big deal is – it’s not like insects count as meat anyway! Plus, there are bugs in almost every grain that is sold in a grocery store! That’s right, think about that when you eat Spaghetti and Boll Weevils.
Besides, what will they use to dye the Strawberry Frap’s red if they don’t use the beetles? You expect them to use strawberries? That’s crazy talk! The only thing crazier would be to not dye it at all! It only makes sense that a strawberry drink be dyed to look like strawberries. No one wants to drink a strawberry drink that resembles water! I’m sure that if you ask people, they would much rather keep the red dye in all the foods using it. Why do you think some flavors of Snapple have a protein statistic? It’s because they use this beetle!
I think Vegan’s just need to suck it up…after all that’s why Starbuck’s provides a straw with all their iced coffee beverages…