Recently, I had a conversation with the regional head of a major grocery chain. As we entered the fruit snacks section, oddly and strategically located in the cereal aisle, he said to me “Vani, how does General Mills get away with this product? The label says “Strawberry Fruit By The Foot” but it doesn’t have any strawberries?!”
Over the last few months, countless parents across the globe have been sending me pictures of their children drinking green drinks. Every single time I receive one of these photos, my heart leaps out of my chest and melts onto the floor. I am deeply inspired by children enjoying foods that are good for them and packed with nutrition.
Last week, I posted a new investigation into the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte and exposed how Starbucks makes it difficult for its customers to know what they are drinking. This is because:
- Starbucks doesn’t publish the ingredients online.
- Starbucks doesn’t publish the allergen information online.
- Starbucks is inconsistent. We were given slightly different ingredients depending on who we spoke to at Starbucks.
I also broke down the complete list of ingredients in this popular latte, including caramel coloring that contains the chemical 4-Mel, which is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and National Toxicity Program. A 2-year government funded feeding study found that 4-Mel caused lung cancer in mice. The Center of Science in Public Interest and the Consumers Union (the policy and action arm of Consumer Reports) recently petitioned the FDA to take action to limit caramel coloring in soft drinks.
This post quickly went viral, with over 3 million views on FoodBabe.com and 10 million views on Facebook in just a few days. I was incredibly impressed with your activism and how you fearlessly shared this post with your friends and family. You truly got the word out within minutes, and people were listening. This news spread quickly and major news outlets began reporting our story.
This morning I had the amazing opportunity to be on a very popular national TV morning show, Fox & Friends, which gave us a huge platform to continue spreading the word. In case you missed it, the video clip is right here below: (Can you guess my favorite part?)
I really love the smell of pumpkin (especially in the Fall), but, there is at least one seasonal pumpkin treat that I will never order and that’s the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. With more than 200 million sold to date, these drinks sell like hotcakes this time of year, and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said it “still ranks as its most popular seasonal beverage”. But, does anyone know what’s really in it?