Bug juice, anyone????

Strawberry is not my favorite flavor, being a chocolate girl myself.  However, should I want to buy, say a Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino from Starbucks, I certainly would assume that the pink coloring and the strawberry flavoring were from strawberries.  Now, I would hope that the berries were organic, but one can never be too sure about that.


I was horrified to read that Starbucks does not use natural coloring for their S & C Frapps.  They use beetle juice.  That’s right, beetle juice.   They use Cochineal extract and another ingredient called carmine (from the same insect) to color these drinks.


This substance is approved by the FDA for use in food and cosmetics.  Tropicana and Dole use it in their fruit-in-gel products and in their ruby-red grapefruit juice.  Jim Olson, Starbucks’ spokesman says, “The strawberry base does contain cochineal extract, a common natural dye that is used in the food industry, and it helps us move away from artificial ingredients.”  This colorant is also known as “natural Red #4” on the ingredient label.


What is interesting is that this additive can be used in products denoted as ‘vegetarian’.  This means that people who are very careful of their diets (vegans, kosher, halaal).  Now, I do not subscribe to any of those particular modes of diet, but I would like to know when I am ingesting an insect, or an insect product.


How many things are we ingesting that are of this ilk?   I certainly would like to know.


Until next time,




About Polly Heil-Mealey, ND, P.Sc., HHP, M.Ed., C.C.I.

Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey is the Past-President of the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA), as well as an IIPA Certified Iridologist with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Naturopathic degree. She has been involved in education and Biblical health care since 1994. Dr. Polly has been active in both television and radio, presenting community service programs covering various topics. An international traveler, she gives seminars on alternative health practices, incorporating iridology and Biblical nutritional counseling. Dr. Polly now uses her expert ability to communicate vital and useful information to help her clients build or restore their health. One of Dr. Polly’s greatest passions is to see her clients restore their health through natural therapies. Every success story confirms the need for education in holistic practices. Dr. Polly brings a high level of dedication and commitment to her clientele. She has touched the lives of many with her concern and selfless devotion. The verse “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” is a scripture that touches every level of society. As clients learn and understand holistic protocols, they are able to improve their health drastically by incorporating diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. Polly is married to Stephen Hale, and together they have eight children. Both are very active in their church and serve on various boards in their community. Dr. Polly is also the director of Women’s Ministries of her church. Dr. Polly and Stephen reside in Humble, Texas.
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5 Responses to Bug juice, anyone????

  1. Samuel says:

    Marcel Dicke discusses the various aspects of insects, and how they play a role into our diet in his TEDTalk in June 2010 (link at the bottom of this post. He discusses the use of “natural food coloring” and also the FDA regulations regarding insect parts in processed foods such as peanut butter, chocolate, etc. He makes the argument that we should add insects to our diet as they have better nutritional qualities than our current protein source.


  2. pwsfrap says:

    It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Starbucks de-bugs its frapps. Out today in USA Today

    That’s the latest score, as Starbucks has made an unusually rapid reversal in how it colors its Strawberry Frappuccinos — and some of its other foods and drinks.

    Just weeks after the world’s largest coffee chain took serious PR heat from vegan groups and public relations gurus for switching to commonly-used cochineal beetles to color its Strawberry Frappuccinos, the company’s U.S. president, Cliff Burrows, now says that bugs are coming out and tomato-based extract is coming in.

    I still wish that they would flavor their frapps with strawberries, but at least the tomato is a fruit.

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