Starbucks to Stop Using Extract Made From Crushed Bugs

Posted on April 20, 2012

Starbucks announced that it will stop using an extract made from crushed cochineal insects in its some of its strawberry drinks, such as its Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino, and select pastries. Starbucks will use lycopene as a colorant instead.

The decision follows a petition on asking Starbucks to stop using the insects, which was signed by over 6,500 people.

Many people probably did not even realize crushed bugs were used in the extract. Starbucks is wise to end the gross use of bugs to make the extract.

Cliff Burrows president, Starbucks U.S., says in a statement, "After a thorough, yet fastidious, evaluation, I am pleased to report that we are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible. Our expectation is to be fully transitioned to lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, in the strawberry sauce (base) used in our Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Likewise, we are transitioning away from the use of cochineal extract in our food offerings which currently contain it (Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing, and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie)."

He also says the transition is expect to be complete near the end of June across the U.S. Those of you who enjoyed the crushed bugs will soon be out of luck.

More from Science Space & Robots