Major news outlets such as CBS and ABC have reported widespread consumer concern over the use of insect-based food dyes by coffee giant Starbucks after a recent post on veg-culture blog This Dish is Vegetarian brought the megachain’s choice of ingredients to light. Starbucks’ Strawberries & Crème Frappuccinos were formerly free of animal products, but recent efforts by the company to discontinue the use of artificial flavorings and colors resulted in a recipe switch to cochineal extract, a substance made of ground insects, to achieve the beverage’s rosy hue. The decidedly un-vegan dye is currently found in numerous food and beauty products, but many consumers were unaware of its origins. A petition has been launched on change.org encouraging Starbucks to use plant-based colorings derived from beets, black carrots, purple sweet potatoes, or paprika.
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