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USA Today reports that Starbucks has incurred the wrath of vegetarians with reports that it uses ground-up cochineal beetles - a government-approved food coloring - in its Strawberry Frappuccinos.

According to the story, “a Vegan website,, this month warned its readers that Strawberry Frappuccino was no longer vegan and now is using the beetles for coloring. Starbucks made the switch in January when it aggressively moved away from artificial ingredients.

For Starbucks, which is eager to get artificial ingredients out of its food and drinks, it's an unexpected PR problem. Never mind that Frappuccinos, in total, represent a $2 billion global business for Starbucks. ‘This is the quintessential modern day PR crisis,’ says PR expert Katie Delahaye Paine. ‘You try to be good and green, and someone is going to get you for it’.”
KC's View:
One MNB user asked yesterday if the people so upset about Pink Slime will be similarly outraged by the unlabeled use of ground-up cochineal beetles ... which, when you think about it, sounds even grosser than Lean Finely Textured Beef.