Starbucks outrages vegan community with beetle shell food coloring.

Percy Lipshitz



SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (Neuters)  While making a move towards eliminating artificial ingredients in their food and drinks, Starbucks has inadvertently angered the vegan community by using red food coloring made from, well, bugs.  To find out the latest on the controversy, Neuters has deployed our own in-house conspiracy theorist/cub reporter Percy Lipshitz for an investigation.  We go to him now:

NEUTERS:  Percy, what can you tell us about the alleged use of insect parts to color Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccinos and other food items?

LIPSHITZ:  Well, man, it’s like, so whoa out there, man.  Apparently Starbucks has changed their food coloring to one using these red beetles that they grind up and put into drinks.  They pretend to be, like, all concerned about people and junk, but then they decide to make these vegan dudes eat bug parts without their knowledge, I guess just to piss them off or something.

NEUTERS:  Wait a second Percy – are you suggesting that Starbucks deliberately misled people who don’t want to eat animal products into ingesting beetle-derived food coloring?  Why would they do that?  As I understand it, this is a very common coloring used from cosmetics to food to fabric.

Cochineal Beetles

LIPSHITZ:  That’s what they WANT you to think, man.  But take my word for it, there’s nothing ordinary or unplanned about this.  It’s just like when KFC started using mutant reptiles instead of real chickens.  It’s not like you can accidentally trim the meat off a feathered lizard.  Besides, have you seen what these bugs look like?  They’re not the pretty, red scarabs that most people want you to imagine.  They’re really small, all squirmy and stuff and don’t even look red until you smash them up.  Not pretty, and not something that “accidentally” finds its way into your food, man.

NEUTERS:  I’m having a hard time following your line of reasoning here, Percy, but can you tell us anything else about the case?  Has Starbucks issued a statement regarding the issue?

LIPSHITZ:  Oh sure they have.  Like, this one higher-up dude at the home office said something about bugs being more “natural” and stuff, but you could tell from the glaze on his eyes that he was really being controlled by an implanted chip.  You know the signs, right?  Unfocused stare, appearing nervous in front of cameras, sweat on the forehead.  Sure signs of alien control.

NEUTERS:  Actually, that just sounds like anyone who’s having to handle tough questions in front of a crowd.

LIPSHITZ:  Where have you been man?  Don’t forget that the whole vegan thing is rather, well, alien to the aliens, man.  They’re bloodsucking meat eaters and wouldn’t touch a vegetable except to throw it at someone.  On that point, I guess I’d have to say I’m on the same wavelength.  I mean, why would these vegan dudes want to eat only plants?  They’re the aliens if you ask me.  Still, even for a dedicated carnivore like myself, eating bug parts is just, you know, whoa.  I once accidentally swallowed a cockroach after passing out on the couch with my mouth open.  That’s enough to make you want to lose your munchies.  Still, gotta respect the roach, if you know what I mean.  heh heh heh, heh hhhheh hhhhhhhheh…..

NEUTERS:  Not funny Percy.  Let’s get back to the story.  Has Starbucks indicated that they are going to change to other colorants so as to maintain their drinks as vegan, or will they continue to use the beetle-laced food coloring?

LIPSHITZ:  You know, man, it’s really not clear, but I’ve got a theory…

NEUTERS:  I’m sure you do.

LIPSHITZ:  …about how all this is going to go down, man.  Have you ever seen the documentary Soylent Green?  Well I think the Starbucks aliens have a sort of Soylent Pink in mind, and it’s not made of bugs, if you know what I mean.  Do NOT order a chai latte with soy, man.

NEUTERS:  Percy, Soylent Green was not a documentary, it was a work of fiction…

LIPSHITZ:  That’s what they WANT you to think!  MAN you are so naïve, dude.

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