Starbucks has declared that it has stopped using the red liquid coloring called “cochineal” used in Strawberry & Cream Frappuccino etc… The raw material of it is surprising, it’s insects. The fact that cochineal is squeezed out from insects is actually pretty well known, but how they look is not pleasant.
What the heck is this? Yes, this is the cochineal. The look of it is VERY..well, bugs.
How they use it is, they melt dried cochineal insects in boiling water and squeeze the color out. Then the coloring is used for snacks, meat, jams, soft drinks, and shaved ice syrups and so on. If the product’s ingredients say cochineal, it’s these insects. Do you call this natural?
In the meantime, Starbucks announced that their Strawberry & Cream Frappuccino and Strawberry Banana Smoothies stop using cochineal, but not every store at the same time. It means, cochineal is still used at the moment somewhere.
Although you could overlook it pretending you didn’t see this, and if there’s no bad effect to your body what’s the big deal, the problem is not that.
According to CNN, the reason they stop using it is, “It goes against consumer’s expectation.” They must have had a lot of complains, but Starbucks fans would still buy the drinks even though they announced they’re from bugs now.
They say they’ll use other natural alternatives for food coloring, but whether it’s insects or something else, it seems like it still is strawberries. Therefore, it’s not clear if cochineal is harmless to human bodies. And it goes the same for the other coloring. There might be things better not to know in the world.