After receiving more than 6,500 letters to email accounts at its corporate headquarters Starbucks on Thursday announced that it would no longer use dead insects to color its speciality drinks.
The company received the emails after Change.org setup a campaign to end the use of cochineal extract, a coloring agent that is created with the help of crushed up insects. Every single time a customer filled out the Change.org petition an email was generated and sent to Starbucks.
The main contention of the petition is that the product is neither vegan nor kosher. The petition also clearly states in no indirect terms that customers “don’t want crushed bugs in their designer drinks.”
In a statement regarding the corporations decision to stop using cochineal extract Cliff Burrows, Starbucks president for the U.S. said:
“We’ve learned that we fell short of your expectations by using natural cochineal extract as a colorant … As our customers you expect and deserve better—and we promise to do better.”
The cochineal extract was used in various specialty drinks for the company including Strawberries & Creme Frappuccinos and Strawberry Banana Smoothies. The company’s extract was also used in red velvet whoopee pie, raspberry swirl cake, pink-iced mini donuts, and birthday cake pops.
It should be noted that the extract does not actually pose any threat to customers, in fact cochineal extract is an approved food agent by from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and it is already used in various food and drink products.
Are you disgusted by the idea of crushed incest food and drink coloring?