Dear Starbucks: I want MORE Cochineal Extract in my Drink

Update (see bottom)  – Starbucks caved in.

There’s an uproar over Starbucks using cochineal extract as a food dye alternative rather than synthetic dyes. Frankly, I’m very pleased by this, though I’m sure people allergic to it aren’t too happy. In fact, according to the MSNBC report, the FDA requires companies make this clear so people who don’t want to or can’t tolerate it can avoid it.

What got me was that the uproar wasn’t really from people allergic to it, but it was from vegans like this one.

Daelyn Fortney isn’t the only one that has an issue with cochineal extract as proven by the fact that as of today, there are more than 2,100 signatures on the petition linked by her.

OMG! It's a burning cross on my lawn!!

Dear Vegans:

Stop going to Starbucks.

In fact, stop going to any establishments that have catered to us filthy, disgusting, heathen, vicious carnivores who have enjoyed them in the past and may continue to do so. We would also like to continue to enjoy our lives without your asinine health-affirmative-action ruining them just so you may continue to exercise your lifestyle choice.

You see, unlike being black or gay, I can magically ruin your day — and the very fiber of your being, apparently — by forcing you to eat honey. Sweet delicious honey. Which means your outrage isn’t about something worthwhile; especially worth taking away the choices of countless others. My right to pursue happiness overrides your habit of unwarranted self-importance.

There are quite literally thousands of alternative stores that cater to your needs and cochineal extract is a far more preferable alternative to the synthetic crap that goes into every other food product in the market. In fact, you may find it beneficial to make your own beverages as that will virtually ensure there are no animal products being used.

This is what my mom does (even with her crazy schedule) and she’s healthier than I am.

I also found it amusing that they snuck in the religion flag as according to the petition, “the drinks are not safe for those following a kosher diet.” Fun fact: Although cochineal may not be, grasshoppers are Kosher (and roasted ones are quite tasty), but still not appropriate for vegans. That should tell you something about vegans.

Now it’s 5:30AM. Time for bed.

Update 8:00AM

Apparently Fortney’s post is not loading…

So here’s the Google cache instead.

Taken this morning...

Update 8:05AM

OK… It’s loading again. I guess that was a temporary glitch.

Update April 21

Well, it looks like Starbucks is caving in to hysteria and undue pressure from grossed out Americans and switching the coloring to a tomato based alternative. I’ll leave you this to show how silly it all was compared to what “eating bugs” really entails.

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7 thoughts on “Dear Starbucks: I want MORE Cochineal Extract in my Drink

  1. First of all, I am a vegan and everytime I read a post like this one or the quote in your post (from vegan), or watch mocking video on YouTube always make me sad.

    A vegan who becomes one has own unique reason, not all the same.

    Apparently, those who signed the petition are having the reason and principles or philosphy. Everyone has their rights to express or to protest as long as they are responsible to their actions.

    I can tell you I don’t totally agree with those people based on the quotes in your post (the page you link is basically empty, I wonder if the content was taken down or other issue). I don’t know what’s the goal of that petition, I am guessing they want Starbucks to stop using Cochineal Extract, and I certainly disagree with such petition. I think the petition should asking for an alternative, not like what they are asking.

    For me, I have no problem with meat eaters and I still think meat is important diet. But I can’t stand with people who eat meat and think the other parts from the same animal they eat is “disquisting.” People with such thought are brainwashed by what they see at supermarkets, ignorant and lack of perspectives. They don’t understand the animals anymore.

    This comment is mainly responded to “That should tell you something about vegans.” I feel it is pretty negative point towards vegans.

    I hope I will change your view about vegans, please don’t think vegans are all the same.

  2. Arrgh! There goes my nap!

    I just got a call about this post (apparently people don’t know my clock is reverse) letting me know the post isn’t loading. I guess it was taken down, but I took a screenshot of the Google cache.

    Fiona, thanks for the wishes. After this I’m gonna try to sleep again (it’s 8:00AM) ;)

    Livibetter, thanks for dropping by again.
    Let me just say that I have no qualms about vegans or their reasons for being vegans.

    First let me, apologize to you.

    I’m very sorry that you felt sad at this, but please understand, the tone of that blog post by Fortney was the epitome of a the highly inflated sense of self-importance that give otherwise reasonable people like you (who don’t think the world revolves around them) a very bad name.

    I’m not making excuses, but the fact that I’m Asian may have a hand in the fact that I don’t see cochineal in a food product as being particularly upsetting. What I do find very upsetting is people treating said cochineal as being a product of Satan himself. Starbucks certainly isn’t the only company that uses cochineal extract as a more natural alternative to synthetic dyes.

    So, no offense to good folks like you.

    I’m not going to edit my wording or the tone in the post since that would be like changing history to make myself look better, but I will insert the Google cache screenshot so the context isn’t lost.

  3. I think the quote at the very end of the USA Today article (yeah, yeah, I know…) from one Dr Marion Nestle–professor of nutrition at NYU–put it most succinctly:

    This is pretty far down on my list of outrageous food issues.

    • I have had dog meat actually. And cow tongue and horse meat (which, you might be surprised, also tastes very good).

      Would I be outraged? No, just monumentally surprised that a country that spends more money on petcare than the homeless would casually allow it in its society without someone throwing a brick or a firebomb through the windows of the establishement.

      But we’re not talking about dogs are we?

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