One Tall Strawberry Frappuccino – Skinny, With Extra Insects Please!

Whoa!  I’m going to have consult with my personal barista, Ms. Zophiel.  

Unique blend: Starbucks' Strawberry Frappuccino uses cochineal extract, which is crushed insects. It's used commonly in food and drinks

(DailyMail)…Have you ever wondered how Starbucks makes their Strawberry Frappuccinos look so vibrantly pink?  The pink hue is thanks to crushed up insects, according to new information provided by the coffee chain giant. If this fact doesn’t bother you and you are still a number one fan feel free to get a £5 off voucher code here.

In a statement released by Starbucks, the company has revealed that they use cochineal extract, which is the ground-up bodies of insects, as a dye for the popular rose-coloured beverage.  Bugs from mainly Mexico and South America are dried out before they are ground and used in the milky-based Frappuccino drink.

As stomach-turning as it may sound, the ingredient is in fact harmless. Commonly used to help liven up the dull hues of jams, meats, cheese, baked goods, alcoholic drinks and more, cochineal extract has been used as a colouring agent in food and drinks for centuries. It has been deemed safe by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration.  Starbucks said it had decided to use cochineal extract to help limit the use of artificial ingredients in its products. 

Frightening matter: Cochineal insects are usually sourced from Mexico and South America before being dried out and crushed for use.

“At Starbucks, we strive to carry products that meet a variety of dietary lifestyles and needs,” the statement read. “While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes.”

But the all-natural matter is not entirely free of health risks.  The World Health Organization has found that cochineal extract may cause asthma in some people. Others may see an allergic reaction.  Vegan fans may not be happy with its inclusion either., an animal rights and eco-friendly news site, labels the extract non-vegan.

I guess you know what comes next don’t you? 


About Ad rem

Millions of little gray cells wrapped in fur.
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89 Responses to One Tall Strawberry Frappuccino – Skinny, With Extra Insects Please!

  1. WeeWeed says:



  2. Menagerie says:

    Hmmm. Natural bugs vs unnatural what – food coloring? I am not opposed to non-natural, fake ingredients. At all.


  3. zmalfoy says:

    . . . huhn. . . well, I know it soulds kinda . . . well, a wee bit gross, but this really doesn’t perturb me. I eat bigger insects every time I go for a lobster roll at that roadside place in Mystic, Connecticut. .. Mmmm, lobsta roll. . .

    And, if you want an appetizing color, it’s pretty much this or a bunch of chemicals thrown together in a lab and then labeled Red 40, or Red Lake 5, or some such. . . As with anything in the world, each decision has its pluses and minuses. . .

    Now, the real scandal with frappacinos, is that a couple years ago, they changed how they made them. It used to be that the barista would make a pitcher of “Base”– coffee or creme base– with whole milk, to which whatever additives and ice would be added in the blender. This was awesome. Everything tasted fantastic. But then, they wanted to give people the option of what milk to use, to allow for skim or even (talk about gross!) soy “milk”**. So instead of having a base, it was something like, the milk you wanted, plus some powder, plus your ingredients and ice.

    And that was terrible! Ew! As the little bits of ice would melt, it would all seperate. . . and the drinks tasted terrible and had a horrible texture! I haven’t ordered a Fraapacino since!

    **FYI: Soy “milk” is what they serve you in hell. They (the demons) put it in your instant coffee, pour it on your cardboard cereal, and whip it into an icy confection called “The Ninth Ring Ice Cream”.**

    But I can see, to be honest, why this info here might weird some people out. So, they should probably not think too hard about honey, milk, or broth . . .. 😉


    • Ad rem says:

      Wow…..knowing that I’m getting an “adulterated” version of my order by simply asking for it “skinny”…..well, that just makes me have to rethink the whole thing. I’ve already had enough Sego, Metrical, and Slim-Fast to last me a lifetime….I don’t need to be having a diet flashback whilst sipping at Starbuck’s. 😉


  4. WeeWeed says:

    Reinforcing my daily decision to stick with plain, ol’ coffee.



  5. Beets taste like dirt.


    • Ad rem says:

      Have ya ever tried pickled red beets? Ya toss in a few hard boiled eggs with the beets and…voila, purple eggs! (Yum…..gonna hafta make me some today.)


    • stellap says:

      I love beets! Try the golden beets, if you don’t like the red. I bake mine, then peel and slice with vinegar and oil and a little onion. Golden beets are also good roasted with other vegs like potatoes, squash, onions etc.


      • Ad rem says:

        I am nuts about just about anything with vinegar in it. I remember sipping on it and pretending it was wine when I was a kid. 😉 (It’s good for rinsing your hair after shampooing too.)


  6. zauber says:

    Geez guys, insects are not only used in a lot of foods for a number of reasons but as my coimpadres at the USDA will tell you we have standards for the amount of insect and rodent parts allowable in processed foods. It’s almost impossible to seal a meat processing area to prevent the dedicated itinerant rodent from getting in so standards for the quantity of extra moving meat to account for the rodent that gets into the machinery. That includes hair, teeth, toenails, la toda rata. If you take just about all ground and cold processed cereal product and let it sit you’ll see the eggs of some of the various insects who occupied the grain in the field hatch. Whole grain products are the worst, a veritable insectarium but within set USDA standards. It’s almost impossible to remove the assorted insect life from food products before they hit your table, a fact that I like to drop on smarmy holier-than-thou vegans at Starbucks as they chew on their pastries.


  7. zauber says:

    And it still beats British cuisine


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