The other day my wife and I were talking and she asked me if I had heard the news that Starbucks was using crushed cochineal bugs as a red food dye in products such as strawberry Frappucinos, strawberry-banana smoothies, red velvet whoopsie pies and pink iced mint donuts. My first thought was that is was disgusting. Now don’t get me wrong I am only going to be grossed out by a few things but this was one of them.
The first thing I asked myself was why would they use bugs as a dye in their products. Activists will react to anything extreme so the company should have known that this was going to cause outrage from groups such as PETA. It did cause these groups to speak out and it worked.
Thursday, after being nicknamed Starbugs by vegan activists, Starbucks announced that it will start using a tomato-based extract to color it’s food. The change should be implemented by June.
“Starbucks clearly learned from its error after switching to a dye from insects, and since no one, vegetarian or not, wants beetle juice in their Frap, everyone will soon celebrate the fact that it’s gone for good,” said PETA’s David Byer.
Using the bugs was most likely the cheaper option and a good way to cut costs, but is that really worth ruining the publics opinion of the company with so many people? What are your thoughts on this? Were you planning on boycotting Starbucks when you heard this? Are you going back now that they will be making the change?