Starbucks to Stop Using Bugs in Drinks

Extract from crushed insects colored several products
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 19, 2012 5:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – Some 6,500 customers were bugged by Starbucks' insect-based food coloring, and the company is responding: It won't be using cochineal extract in its treats anymore, at least in the US. The dye, made from crushed insects, prompted a Change.org petition that sent an email to Starbucks HQ every time anyone signed, Bloomberg reports. The petition complained that the ingredient was neither vegan nor kosher; plus, customers "don’t want crushed bugs in their designer drinks."

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"We’ve learned that we fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colorant," a Starbucks exec said in a statement. "As our customers you expect and deserve better—and we promise to do better." The extract was found in Strawberries & Creme Frappuccinos and Strawberry Banana Smoothies, as well as red velvet whoopee pie, raspberry swirl cake, pink-iced mini donuts, and birthday cake pops, the firm said. (Read more Starbucks stories.)

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