March 29th, 2012
10:25 PM ET

Food coloring controversy is not so rosy

Some people are freaking out after finding out that their favorite Frappuccino is colored by bugs. The Strawberries & Crème blended beverage at Starbucks contains cochineal extract.

Image courtesy Starbucks

The coloring additive gives the drink its pretty pink hue.

A cochineal, by the way, is an insect.

And guess what... this drink is not the only place you will find it. Until 2009, companies could put it on their ingredients list as "natural coloring."

Now the FDA requires the specific labeling of cochineal extract, sometimes called carmine.

The alternative is artificial. Usually Red Dye #40. That is derived from petroleum. Yum!

So, bugs or oil? Neither sounds appetizing. Both come with their own health concerns.


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Filed under: General • Over and Out There