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Starbucks Finally Publishes Drink Ingredient List… Here Are The Worst Ones!

If you’ve been a long time Food Babe Army member you know, I’ve been investigating Starbucks for a long time and am so happy to report another major victory! After years of hiding the list of ingredients in their drinks from the public, they have now published their drink ingredients online. There are still a few outliers that for some reason do not have ingredients listed, but now we can all see what is exactly in their most popular coffee drinks, smoothies, frappuccinos and lattes. 

This is the type of transparency that all restaurants should abide by, and it is ridiculous that some of them are still trying to hide their ingredients (I’m talking about you, In-N-Out Burger!) – it took years of activism to get this done and without your help to spread the word, this would have never happened.

StarbucksTitle

Now that we know what’s in their drinks, let’s take a closer look…

Starbucks has made some improvements to their drinks in the last couple years by removing certain additives we have campaigned against – but they still have a long, long way to go before I’d consider ordering coffee drinks from them. Here’s why…

Even without seeing the ingredients, it’s pretty obvious that milk is the main ingredient in most of their coffee drinks – so let’s discuss this first.

Be aware that they serve conventional (non-organic) milk at Starbucks, which comes from farms where the cows are almost always fed a diet that consists primarily of GMO feed (soy, corn, cottonseed) that is laden with pesticides.

Starbucks  is made with Monsanto Milk!

Did you know that the vast majority of GMO crops are not put into human food, but are instead used to feed farm animals and make biofuels?

This sure makes you question the corporate stance that GMOs are necessary to feed a growing population, huh? Not only is Monsanto profiting off of the sale of GMO seeds, but they are selling them along with their own herbicide “Roundup” with glyphosate. It’s a double-whammy for them!  

That’s why I call the milk used at Starbucks (and anywhere else that uses conventional milk) “Monsanto Milk”, and don’t buy products made with it.

If you really want to hurt the bottom line of the biotech companies – like Monsanto – who are profiting heavily off of GMO technology, you need to vote with your dollars and refuse to buy conventional meat & dairy products grown with GMOs. When you do this, companies will start sourcing non-GMO and organic ingredients, creating more demand for organic crops, which will eventually lead to more farmers switching to this type of agriculture. This is better for our environment, even if you don’t drink dairy. That’s the big picture! 

So, first things first… Starbucks main priority should be to get off of Monsanto Milk.

The best way to do this is by offering organic milk, as organic milk is prohibited from being raised on GMO feed. If you are going to drink dairy, the best choice is grass-fed organic – and I give 7 reasons why here.

Starbucks dairy-free options are full of additives… 

Thankfully, Starbucks is offering more dairy-free options, but they contain some controversial additives linked to gut problems. 

Starbucks Almond Milk: Filtered water, Almonds, Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Xantham gum, Guar gum, Vitamin A palmitate, Vitamin D2. 

Starbucks Coconut Milk: Water, Coconut Cream, Cane Sugar, Tricalcium Phosphate, Coconut Water Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Gellan Gum, Corn Dextrin, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2.

Starbucks Organic Vanilla Soymilk: [Organic Soymilk (Filtered Water, Whole Organic Soybeans), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Sea Salt, Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Baking Soda, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12].

Carrageenan – I’ve written extensively about carrageenan since 2012, when I found out that it’s used in many dairy-substitutes like nut milks. Carrageenan is added as a thickener and to keep ingredients from separating as an emulsifier, but it’s known to cause digestion problems and is contaminated with“degraded carrageenan”. Tests have found as much as 25% degraded carrageenan in “food-grade carrageenan” (the kind used in some coconut milks). As reported in the news recently, a new study published in Nature, found that emulsifiers may be contributing to the “rising incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract”. Many mainstream brands are removing (or have removed) carrageenan from their products, like Silk and So Delicious – but it’s still found at Starbucks and in Coconut Dream brand.

Gellan Gum, Locust Bean Gum and Guar Gum– These ingredients are known to cause stomach issues like bloating and gas in people who have sensitive digestive systems. I personally try not to consume these ingredients on a regular basis especially for foods that I have often like coconut milk and other nut milks. 

Avoiding these ingredients as much as possible is a priority for me and that is why I make my own 2-ingredient coconut milk and organic coffee at home – even while traveling and on the road (see how I do that here)! 

Taking the milk out of the equation – most of the drinks at Starbucks are still filled with a ton of sugar, natural flavors, preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers and other artificial additives.

Even though they revamped the Pumpkin Spice Latte without caramel color (and with real pumpkin) because of our activism – it’s chock full of GMOs, refined sugar, and additives like carrageenan that I mentioned above that I don’t put in my body. 

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso, Whipped Cream [Cream (Cream, Milk, Mono And Diglycerides, Carrageenan), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid)], Pumpkin Spice Topping [Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, Sulfiting Agents].

I went through their website and picked out some examples to show you what I think are some of the worst offenders at Starbucks. When you see these ingredients I want to know… Would you drink them???

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato IngredientsStarbucks Caramel Macchiato

Starbucks still uses high fructose corn syrup in the “caramel sauce” found in their caramel macchiatos. Not only is this sweetener generally made from GMO corn, but it’s been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes. Although they have taken the caramel color that’s linked to cancer out of most of their syrups, you will still find it in this caramel sauce.

SKINNY CINNAMON DOLCE LATTE INGREDIENTS

Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte

When it comes to their “Skinny” drinks, don’t be fooled by the catchy name. Drinks like the “Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte” are sweetened with sucralose (Splenda). Research out of Europe showed rats developed leukemia after consuming sucralose. It’s also been shown that artificial sweeteners are doing little to help people lose weight and are actually linked to weight gain. Instead of using real cinnamon that is packed with antioxidants, the syrup is entirely flavored with “Natural and Artificial Flavors”. These chemicals are engineered by flavor manufacturers to create what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. The inability to stop eating because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. How’s that for a “skinny” drink?

STARBUCKS WHITE CHOCOLATE MOCHA INGREDIENTS

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

This drink contains monoglycerides, which is a byproduct of oil processing that may contain artificial trans fat. The consumption of artificial trans fat is strongly correlated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The CDC has linked it to at least 20,000 heart attacks per year and the Institute of Medicine says trans fats have “no known health benefit” and there is no safe level to eat. The whipped cream that tops their mocha (and some other drinks) is thickened with carrageenan (along with more mono and diglycerides). 

Starbucks Citrus Green Tea Latte Ingredients

Starbucks Citrus Green Tea Latte

This sounds like a cleaner drink at Starbucks and like it would be somewhat healthy (it’s even green, haha!) but it is anything but healthy! This tea is completely loaded with sugar, sugar, and more sugar – with 50 grams in a Venti – and more than most of the other drinks at Starbucks. Other forms of sugar in this drink come from maltodextrin and corn syrup, which both likely GMO-derived. Instead of using real lemon to give it a citrus flavor, it’s flavored with a chemical concoction of flavors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and preservatives.

STARBUCKS VERY BERRY HIBISCUS REFRESHERS INGREDIENTS

Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers

In addition to being sweetened with sugar, Starbucks adds a combination of natural flavors, erythritol, and Rebaudiside A (stevia extract). These are essentially the same ingredients in Truvia, a heavily processed no-calorie sweetener. First, erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar that is sometimes found in fruit, but food manufacturers don’t actually use the natural stuff. Instead they start with genetically engineered corn and then go through a complex fermentation process to come up with chemically pure erythritol. When it comes to the Rebaudiside A, this is NOT the same as whole stevia leaf that you can grow in your backyard! This extract is highly processed using a patentable chemical-laden process…so processed that Truvia goes through about 40 steps to process the extract from the leaf, relying on chemicals like acetone, methanol, ethanol, acetonitrile, and isopropanol. Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), and none of those ingredients sound like real food, do they?

Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino Ingredients

Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino

When it comes to frappuccinos it’s really a toss up, because they are all made with similar ingredients and contain an INSANE amount of sugar. Did you know some grande fraps have over 60 grams of sugar in them? That’s like eating 6 regular-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in one sitting. What makes this drink stand out as the worst of the worst is that it contains all the major offenders – artificial flavors, caramel color, mono and diglycerides, carrageenan, preservatives… and then it’s topped with waffle cone made with bleached flour and heart-wrecking partially hydrogenated oils. Most of these ingredients are likely derived from GMOs and are certainly not real food. You can make a delicious tasting frappuccino at home with healthy ingredients – check out my recipe here

The BIGGEST problem with Starbucks drinks: You are supporting Monsanto with every sip. 

Starbucks is serving GMO-raised milk all day long in over 13,000 stores in America. Can you imagine how much milk they go through? Can you imagine the major agricultural shift they would trigger if they switched to organic milk which is prohibited from feeding their livestock GMOs?

Starbucks is investing millions of dollars to get away from their “basic” image and want to be seen as a premium upscale brand that is “values-based”. Does Starbucks value sustainable agriculture? Why don’t they invest their huge bucks into switching to organic grass-fed milk?

Change does not happen overnight, but we have had some huge successes by just focusing on one ingredient at a time. When a leader like Starbucks makes a major change in how they source ingredients, this creates a domino effect that leads to bigger changes down the road. Think about that big picture I was talking about!  

We were able to convince Starbucks to ditch the caramel color from the PSL (and almost all of their drinks) – now let’s convince them to stop serving Monsanto Milk! 

Contact Starbucks and ask them to stop serving milk from cows raised on GMOs and to start serving organic grass-fed milk instead. 

Starbucks Phone Number: 1 (800) 782-7282

Starbucks Contact Form

Starbucks Facebook Page

Starbucks Twitter Page

I’m excited to see how Starbucks responds to us and I love you all for taking action with me! Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter so you don’t miss any updates!

If you have friends or family who are supporting Monsanto with a Starbucks habit, please share this post with them! 

Xo,

Vani

P.S. Remember, there is INTENSE resistance to change. If anyone verbally attacks you for sharing this information online, make sure to read this post

 

 

 

 

 

 

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95 responses to “Starbucks Finally Publishes Drink Ingredient List… Here Are The Worst Ones!

    1. People are sick because of the unregulated amount of sugar in our food – Starbucks should do better. Sending love and peace to you Suzanne 🙂

      1. Your first sentence is the bottom line truth about our food supply. Monsanto Milk?? Come on. All milk regardless of how it is produced has to meet the same FDA standard, that being that it is safe for human consumption.

      2. Vani ! Keep up the good fight ! HFCS is POISONING America ! As well as GMO’s…

      3. I don’t think people drink Starbucks coffees for their health. For me Starbucks is a once in a while treat, the same way I would go out for ice cream. I know it is full of sugar, and not healthy.

      4. Thank you Vani for all your hard work because of your passion I am more aware and in control of my family’s food, health and money. Knowledge is power and the truth shall set us free.

        Peace & Blessings unto you

      5. Vani,

        I really love all the work that you do and Thank you! Just also wanted to add the fact that besides the sugar the actual coffee is not organic. So where is the coffee grown, being sprayed with? What they are also doing is harvesting the doffee and it is a combination of the ripe and unripe beans that they use, sausing for a bitter doffe they mask with all the sugar and flavorings to taste great. Besides all that people are consuming that is bad, the other side is that coffee is addicting and we have alot of people going on sugar highs, prone to diabetes, depleting their adrenals, affecting their kidneys, heart, gaining weight from the effects that coffee is putting on their bodies.

      6. Hey Food Babe! Awesome article. And now Bayer (out of Germany) who makes Aspirin and pesticides is aquiring Monsantos. It is sooooo hard to get real food from any place, even if you harvest it in your backyard theres a chance of contamination. We’re on the verge of destruction regardless.

      7. We love you, Vani. Poor Farmer Ted is still under the dillusion that FDA approved is fit for human consumption. We don’t pay for that toxic stuff anyway, but I’ll make the call, because all of those ingrediants can be changed.
        Farmers are going to have a hard time getting non GMO grains full of MonSatan’s toxic poisons. They ALMOST took over and we have to fight them tooth and nail to TAKE OUR FOOD SUPPLY BACK by putting pressure on the companies that use Monsanto products. Boycott Bayer and pressure you Representatives to DENY TPP!

      8. FDA Standard? They are always changing their “standard”. Like with anti-bacterial triclosan? That’s being taken out, so I don’t think you can solely trust the FDA:) I think they miss a lot of things in the beginning due to pressure by lobbyists, and then decades later they find that “Oh maybe that shouldn’t be in food or medicine…” Just sayin’.

      9. Are we that inept that we can’t monitor our own sugar intake and have to rely on you, corporations, or some other entity to tell us we can or cannot eat?

    2. It is exactly what I expected! Starbucks has to start offering Organic coffee and milk for those who want it! I recently started drinking organic coffee with organic half and half and it taste great. I even bring my own coffee to work now and l’m saving money by doing this. No more coffee clubs at work for me! Thanks for the knowledge, foodbabe.com!!

      1. Until Starbucks goes organic I will not drink their coffee. Sometimes I’m stuck at the airport and have not choice, but I avoid them whenever possible!

    3. Don’t waste money at Starbucks, never have, never will!
      I have no idea why haters get on websites like foodbabe to just criticize, what a waste of time. There is many hater websites where haters can ban together and be miserable.
      Keep up the good work Vani! xoxo
      Namaste 🙂

    4. You know Suzanne, to disagree with someone on something they say is one thing, but to jump on someones blog or website and be downright disrespectful is another. You have all the right in the world to NOT read this site if you disagree with the topics posted here.

  1. Ahh, ignorance was bliss. Thanks for sharing, my wife Dee will be sure to keep me away from these poisonous drinks as she subscribes to you. Great info.

  2. Vani
    Can you check into why do terra oils puts carageenan in all of their vitamins and supplements? I wonder if it is in their oils too.

    They are being marketed to billions of people as “healthiest” when it has all that junk in it. 🙁

    Thanks for all you do!

    1. I, too, am curious as to why doTerra Oils has Carageenan I their supplements and to see just how pure their essential oils truly are.

      1. Doterra is over priced and over rated. First party claims mean nothing, as anyone can claim to have theraputic grade oil (certified organic without dilution is the answer). A smaller company, maybe not even MLM, should be supported for once. BTW take it to the lab (especially the peppermint oil)…

  3. You mentione Monsato Milk, which I’ve never heard of, so thank you! However, each time I’ve seen my coffee being made (cappuccino) I see them pour out of a grocery jug of milk. I’m a little confused and curious now? Are those jugs of milk I think and looks like cow milk Monsato milk? BTW…. I love your post!!!! I try really hard to feed my family and provide healthy choices. I feel sometime it’s nearly impossible to find healthy food that isn’t raw and pure. That’s my biggest issue never finding time to cook an organic meal, always try for short cuts. But when I can I do and appreciate all your info. The other days my son told me at the super market oops we can’t get this it has BHT ?? atleast I know he’s listening.

    1. “Monsanto Milk” is the typical (toxic) milk sold every where. If you want to avoid the toxins, buy organic. If you want nutritious, buy organic grass fed. (Even that is typically homogenized & pasteurized, creating digestive problems for many people.)

      1. Go to the best source: Raw Milk. Some states don’t allow sales. I am so lucky I live in a state that does allow sales and I have been buying it for 4-1/2 years now.

      2. To the best of my knowledge the scientific consensus is that organic does not mean healthier or more nutritious. Perhaps you could point me to your sources of information.

  4. To my Indian palate, only Chai Latte seems acceptable. However, even that used to make me sick. So once I asked the barista to put only 1/3rd the amount of sweetener and nirvana! I know it is still bad for me, but sometimes I have to give in to my daughter and I want to give her company.

    1. Even the chai tea latte is filled with tons of sugar, the spices have a good aroma.. I ask them if they could make without sugar, but understand the sugar is mixed with the milk already..

  5. What about Starbucks’ Iced Tea Lemonades? That’s what I drink. I usually get a trente, with only four pumps of classic sweetener (I know the sweetener has to be bad, but it comes with eight, or in Louisiana, I’ve run into Starbucks that add 12 pumps to a trente!!). Mainly, I’m concerned about the tea contents.

    1. I get that Iced Tea lemonade combo too but minus the sweetener as there is enough in the lemonade to satisfy. Unsweetened tea has no sugar. but the lemonade does.

  6. The Coconut Milk at Starbucks was the Most TOXIC we have EVER Seen ! (almost as TOXIC as Grace Coconut Water!) This is Called “Marketing to the 99 % who are Brain Dead” to BECOME FILTHY RICH !

  7. Vani, you are AWESOME! Your website has been my life saver! Mostly I’m conscious of what I’m eating/drinking and had stopped purchasing from Starbucks because they use so many things I don’t want in my body. I make my drinks at home since I can’t find a place to that serves healthy ones. Well really it has saved me so much money and plus I feel good making my own. Keep on informing and fighting! Health and Happiness…

    1. The caramel is used to colour the syrups sitting on the shelves, not the coffee.

      Do the syrups need it? No, not really (though for a lot of people, the flavours we perceived are affected by what we see, so when someone orders hazelnut coffee, they expect the syrup to be brown, and if it isn’t they could mistaste the flavour).

      So no, it’s not necessary, but it isn’t actually harmful, despite what you might have been told. Caramel isn’t in the known carcinogens group, it’s in the possible carcinogens group, along with most chemicals. Caffeine is also classified as a possible carcinogen, so if this is something that’s important to you then you need to stop drinking coffee altogether. And tea, and cola, and chocolate.

    1. Why is that funny? Starbucks has kosher products but people who keep strictly kosher have to be very careful.

  8. I used to visit a Starbuck daily because it was right by my work but I mostly got coffee to which I could if I wanted add to, so it was black coffee to which I would add cinnamon and maybe a dollop of cream. I didn’t really go for any of the flavored varieties and if I did (like a vanilla latte) would request only one pump of syrup. The Cold Brew coffee was the best for iced coffee, very mellow. Starbucks is basically a coffee shop and will indulge real coffee drinkers over the those lined up for the “coffee drinks”. Freshly made coffee is so much better than coffee made into big canisters. If you really want tea besides the small variety at a Starbucks store go to their sister store, Teavana, which only sells tea (loose) red,green,white and black teens. They are constantly brewing tea all day and will gladly brew a tea of your choice to taste.

  9. Food Babe, keep up the good work!! I am just blown away by your dedication and your fight to help stop us from literally being poisoned every where we try to eat or drink. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Keep up the amazing work! 🙂
    Hugs!

  10. I’m surprised they had no ingredients listed. I thought this was a requirement of any edible stuff in America?

    I quit buying any diary product that has the RgBSt hormone in it. Thankfully, they now offer it in almost all diary products where I live. Before you could not buy it and I had to buy organic.

    I still buy organic when it goes on sale, however. I still much prefer organic when my budget allows.

  11. Why not just avoid these types of beverages altogether. Make your own with organic ingredients as mentioned above. Nobody has died yet from not drinking these indulgent drinks. Drink real black coffee or add real milk or organic alternative milks.

    1. Unfortunately, even organic almond milk contains locust bean gum. It is organic locust bean gum but still an ingredient to avoid.

  12. Just ordered the Matcha tea (green tea) latte Saturday at SB for the first time. Asked her to take out the sugar and she said they don’t use it anymore~~ hope that’s true, it didn’t taste sweet.

    1. Okay guys, I have GOT to clear this up because I’ve seen a few people mention the plain green tea latte, and y’all need to know what you’re getting if you’re gonna get this drink.

      Previously, the green tea latte at Starbucks was made with three things: milk, classic syrup, and “matcha” powder. (Yeah, I put that in scare quotes for a reason, bear with me.)

      Recently, Starbucks changed the recipe to no longer include the classic syrup, and this has led people to believe there’s no sugar in the green tea latte anymore, but this is not true.

      If you were to look at the ingredient list on the Starbucks matcha powder bag, guess what you’d see as the first ingredient?

      Sugar, of course. There’s some real matcha in there, but it’s mostly just made of sugar. So by all means indulge if you enjoy, but you deserve to know you’re basically drinking matcha flavored sugar if you get this beverage.

  13. Called the number for Starbucks and was on hold for a long time. A very nice rep answered and took my request to offer organic milk. She said she understood why we would want the option. I have been asking our Winnetka, IL Starbucks for organic for a year and they said it was up to corporate so I started going to Peet’s instead since they offer organic milk. Thanks for keeping on top of these issues. Now that Bayer is trying to buy Monsanto it is going to be more and more difficult to fight them.

  14. Hey Food Babe, I was wondering why you don’t have soy lecithin in red? Lecithin is from soybeans which 90% are genetically modified from soybean plants. ANYWAY, I have never bought Starbucks coffee and I never will. I only drink organic coffee. Organic coffee is sold almost everywhere now. Its even at the Neighborhood Market (AKA WalMart). I use organic milk and pure maple syrup to sweeten it. I’ve been buying truwhip Verified Non-GMO and using it in my coffee. It’s so good.

  15. I’m astonished at some of the comments. Either people really don’t care about their health or they honestly believe that the government would never allow that. Wake up people it’s about the all might dollar.

  16. AND THIS IS WHY I DO NOT AND HAVE NEVER GIVEN STARBUCKS ANY OF MY MONEY. SAME GOES WITH McD’s AND ALL THE OTHER FAST FOOD JOINTS, AND ALSO WHY I DO NOT SHOP AT WAL-FART. I REFUSE TO GIVE THEM MY MONEY.

  17. Have not been to Starbucks for a few years and will not go back might go back when they quit sporting Monsanto and get the sugar out of the drinks

  18. I must say, I have seen Starbucks changing a lot recently. Much of the packaged food they sell is organic (I know it has some additives like natural flavours, but I still enjoy the organic version of Starbursts), including milk and juice. Starbucks still has a long way to go beforebeeing put on the good list, but they are a lot better than you give them credit for.

  19. Poison! I used to drink the white mocha Frappuccino daily inews my early 20s. I stopped once I realized how much sugar is in there. Hard to drink this toxic stuff knowing the amount of chemicals in there. I just take my coffee black now.

  20. Thank you for posting this! I’m so upset that their dairy free options have Carrageenan. I use So Delicious and love their product and am very disappointed to find out that Starbucks uses such poor ingredients. For any tall beverage it usually averages 5 bucks, and for that price we better be getting better. THANK YOU AGAIN for all you do!

  21. To the lady giving the child the chai: Just go get your daughter a chai at a locally owned coffee shop that has organic milk. as vani pointed out the milk is the worst part.

  22. What other Starbucks drinks that are safer to drink? If not, Should we stop going to Starbucks permanently? Thank you very much, Vani for making me aware of what we put in our bodies.

  23. I follow Food Babe because 23 years ago I had started researching the ingredients in our foods, medications, etc., and my background is in Agriculture. Attacking an industry that help build this nation can come across a bit liberal but I give her points for trying to do something positive but I do not agree with everything she states. She does NOT have an agricultural background and painting the entire industry with has to change is also bit too much. Farmers and Ranchers and even Native Americans have become even more conscious and conservative stewards of our food sources. I also know that the word “organic” is not always correctly used in many of her reviews, comments and informational views. Organic means that by law an animal that has had antibiotics cannot be considered “organic meat” for ninety days. Organic is just a word to mark up the prices of our food sources. Check the FDA laws. However, Food Babe does a good job of encouraging people to start reading food labels. I have done it for over 20 years. My family has always avoided Red Dye # 40 and a few other additives and preservatives because of my background in Ag. Regarding Starbucks. I know what is in my mocha latte and I have one every now and then but I purchase it at a grocery store, they use whole milk and other natural products at my request. The one thing WE ALL need to do for our children and ourselves is read labels, research, make informed decisions, and make sure that we don’t give in to our childrens requests for foods that are not healthy, instant or fast food. Moderation in all things even healthy food. Experience and research has taught me that any food product that has the word DIEt on the label usually means it is higher in sodium, sugar, additives and preservatives. In order to change the chemical process to fit the word DIEt, you take out the good stuff and put back in more chemicals that might contain plastic or petroleum by-products. I do not always agree with Food Babe, again, her not having a complete understanding of the entire Ag industry, I applaud her efforts and the positive impact she is making helping people through her enthusiasm, research and passionate devotion to make everyone a little bit healthier and knowledgeable.

    1. Hi Darla! Thanks for your comment. Please see the following on how antibiotics are used in organic agriculture:
      “The organic cow cannot be given growth hormones or antibiotics, and its feed must be 100 percent organic. Organic feed comes from land not treated with any prohibited substances (e.g., synthetic fertilizers and most synthetic pesticides) for at least 3 years prior to harvest. The land must be managed in a way that maintains soil fertility and minimizes erosion, while distinct and defined boundaries make sure prohibited substances don’t come into contact with organic fields. The animal grazes on organic pastures for the entire grazing season, which must be at least 120 days a year, and receives at least 30 percent of its nutrition from pasture during the grazing season.
      Throughout its life, the animal is raised in living conditions that accommodate its natural behaviors and support its health and welfare. If it gets sick and needs treatment with antibiotics or other drugs, organic standards require that it receive these treatments but then must be removed from organic production. In other words, product from treated animals can no longer be sold, labeled, or represented as organic. However, operators are forbidden to withhold medical treatment from a sick animal in an effort to preserve its organic status.”
      Source: http://blogs.usda.gov/2012/04/26/organic-101-the-lifecycle-of-organic-food-production/

      Also, this post discusses organic milk in more detail:
      https://foodbabe.com/2014/10/29/organic-milk/

      1. To Pam,
        My response, we will have to agree to disagree. Organic IS a word that is used to increase the price of sustainable food resources. Everyone has a different take on the word “organic.” There is a major difference between dairy production cattle and beef cattle which is never really a topic that I see discussed. I have been researching ingredients in foods, medications, beverages for over 20 years due to life-threatening allergies that I and my sons have. My doctors and pharmacists rely on my knowledge and expertise when I or my children are given medications. Food Babe does a great job formulating information about what is in the foods that we consume. Is she right all the time….no but her passion and dedication are to be commended because people need to read and research her information. My family came down with acute food poisoning from eating range free chicken that had E Coli and I bought the chicken at Whole Foods. This also happened when I bought steaks from Whole Foods and again it was E coli. Free Range means that they eat everything in sight including their own fecal matter.
        I won’t always agree with Food Babe but she is dedicated and I enjoy reading her articles. She is providing a service to help people to better understand what is in our food and she has a loyal advocate to back her up. But, there will be times that I will disagree with what she is stating. The issue about Starbucks, people do seem to get a bit upset about her attacking Starbucks….that morning jolt of caffeine is rather important:). I purchase my Starbucks Mocha Latte in a grocery store, where the employees us whole milk, tell me if there are any changes to the ingredient and serve it with no whip cream (I am allergic to low fat dairy and dairy by-products) a few times a year. Thank you for your “rebuttal” because you have shown that your organization actually takes the time to read other people’s opinions.

    2. Darla,

      Are you from Monsanto, Sneaking around?
      Why are you So Consenting?
      You show me how little you know, when your talking about Organics, as you do not know much on how it operates.

      That said, if you got so sick from Whole Foods, why did you go back, and how come it was Not in the news?

      I think there is something wrong with you.

      1. To Annie,

        Nope. When it comes to Agriculture I am very passionate but I have a credible background and knowledge that comes with experience and education but attacking an entire industry is not right. I will protect that industry because you are attacking the very fiber of hard working farmers and ranchers. Majority of small farms and ranches have been sold, bought and are now run by corporations for PROFIT. Food Babe is providing a service to get people to start thinking and researching about what they are consuming – food, beverages, medications, etc. Everyone has their own ideas about Ag and the word organic. Agriculture touches our lives everyday from the clothes we wear, the foods that we consume, the medications to make us well, medical instruments that are used in surgeries, to being able to drive a car, to the school supplies that our children use, to how we build and furnish homes and the list is endless.
        Regarding being sick and Whole Foods, why would I want to tear down a community business when the fault lies with the food source. The store in question received medical notice, made good and gave us back our money. We didn’t make a big production about it and they were very understanding because sh_t happens:) I am not going to “run” to the media and start a firestorm over an incident that even happens when you eat out in restaurants. I still shop at Whole Foods but for very specific items that I cannot find elsewhere and treats that are very healthy for my children which they happen to like. We have our pork and beef freshly processed and I really do not like chicken but I tried something different on the recommendation of a friend. Get a grip because it is obvious that you haven’t done your homework!
        I have stated that I do not always agree with Food Babe but she does give you “food for though.”

  24. just posted a comment on their FB page asking if they would be adding any organic options and people lit up within 2 minutes of my original post! People were name calling me and harassing me. Obviously these people are trolling these types of companies and trying to do this to anyone who posts about health or organic options. Wow. What has this world come to?

  25. Did Starbucks also release the ingredients in their food products? I suspect they use a lot of MSG and food coloring, and their croissants smell suspiciously like yoga mat, like Subway bread used to.

  26. I did as you advised. I asked Starbucks via their FB page to please start serving Organic grass-fed milk and I have been bullied, harassed, and humiliated by the non-organic Nazi clan.

  27. Hi Vani, Starbucks is making small steps and that’s a good thing but I still refuse to drink their coffee. Here’s why…I only drink decafinated coffee and they use formaldehyde in their decafination process. Not only that but every time I’d stop at a Starbucks for a late afternoon coffee (before I learned about the formaldehyde) they’d tell me “oh I’m sorry but we don’t make decaf coffee after 2:00pm” and they’d offer me some lame “pour over” coffee which I find rediculous!! So I quit going there altogether a few years ago and only go to local coffee houses near me where I know what decafination process is and I can find decaf any time I go!
    Thank you for all the hard work you do and congrats on your pregnancy!

  28. Lets be somewhat reasonable. My daughter who is a physician says i have gone over to the dark side. I love alternative medicine and healthy eating…..
    I definitely agree with you on the organic milk… but lets be reasonable.
    I have to make my own almond milk if I want ANY almond milk without a tiny bit of guar gum. I have looked and THERE ISN’T any where I live nor at the health food store.
    Same with the carrageenan.
    I say lets go with the BIG stuff. and leave the little stuff alone. They aren’t going to make their own almond milk.!!

    Love what you are doing!!!!

  29. Food Babe…Thanks again for the head’s up regarding big food business’s collective ill will activities toward the American public. The more we ask questions and do the necessary steps to safe guard ourselves, our families the better our chances of dodging needless havoc within our body, mind, emotions and spirit. I always have told friends and patients that it is critical that they educate themselves to protect themselves. Organic is the only way to dodge the majority of toxins that have become part of the food chain. I appreciate your tenacity to stay in the ring and slug it out. You are right that people get loud when they attack you but just remember to consider the source. If they really knew better . . . . I have lived on a farm for close to a decade. Unfortunately the owner and the majority of the collective group of growers of nuts follow the same manual of using chemicals as part of their standard operation. I went to a growers meeting with approximately a couple hundred farmers and managers. The second half of the morning section lecture was covering the safety of chemical usage; including protecting the workers. So many regulations and having to comply with federal laws. During the question and answer period, just before lunch, I raised my hand and asked a simple question, “Anyone here ever hear of Organic?” I have never been asked to come back again. . Some folks just don’t get it. I have shared the reality of the huge difference in price. Wholesale price whole sale last year was approx. $2.25/pound in the shell. The retail selling price for no spray (Not Legally Organic) is close to $17.00/pound out of the shell. I have shared with the owner to begin selling no spray nuts in the community and in a few years people could come out to the orchard and buy nuts and or farmer’s market and on the internet. The retail price could be in the range of $8 to $10.00/pound. Doesn’t want to do it. There is a market for the shells as well. Farmers do not want to change. There are several ranchers in my area that promote and sell their meat as grass feed beef. Long story short. . . I asked one of the ranchers at an event, “So your cows eat this grass start to finish. . ?” ‘Yes they do. . ” “Do you folks use feed lots at all in your operations?” “Yes we do.” “Really, that’s great.” “Where do you folks get the organic grains because around here, organic grains are hard to come by.” “Well ya see that’s kinda tricky wording…” “It is not a hard question to answer . . .it is either organic or it is not.” He said, “no it is not organic.” “So what you are telling me is that you are selling so called grass fed cows GMO grains for approximately six weeks?” “I do believe that is false advertising and you are putting people’s lives at risk.” “People are buying your product on good faith that you are telling them the truth.” The reason I am sharing these stories is to show/tell you how important it is to ask questions to safeguard you and your families from food based poisons. Bottom line. . . if it is not God Based Food, leave it alone. Better yet, send it to the witless white-washed house in DC. Let him eat it. He’s been promoting GMO since he took office. Eat well . . . be well!!
    p.s. ‘Nobody makes an apple like Him!’

  30. So what you are telling me is that Starbucks, as a corporation, should become more concerned about my health and your health? Yeah…let me know when that actually happens as their bottom line is the almighty dollar. And quite frankly, their products sell because people want all that caffeine and sugar, and it’s not because their customers have no care about their health. Interestingly, caffeine is toxic leading to headaches, anxiety, diarrhea, palpitations or racing heart rate, chest and abdominal pain, just to name a few symptoms. Yet this is never mentioned. Everything is toxic. And that’s a bitter pill to swallow sometimes.

    I consider myself healthy and I don’t eat organic or non-GMO. For many reasons I’m not sure it’s even worth it. There is no scientific evidence indicating that GMOs or more technically correct GE, crops are healthier for us to consume. If you have evidence (scientific, peer reviewed) indicating contrary to this, I will be more than happy to oblige and read these studies. And let’s think about this: without GMOs we wouldn’t have domesticated dogs or cats, among other things. I personally would like to thank at least Gregor Mendel, a man who genetically modified pea plants and contributed greatly to the study of genetics.

    The status of the health of the human population isn’t due to the “evils” of the food industry, at least in my opinion. We’ve done it to ourselves. The food choices we make on a day to day basis are not conducive to healthy lifestyles. Eating fast food daily is not healthy. You will readily admit to that. Yet enjoy these guilty pleasures in life every once in awhile will not kill us. Even eating healthy can lead to health issues. Health is not just about what we eat. What’s our activity level? What’s our stress level? How are we emotionally, spiritually, etc.? What is the genetic link? The health crisis that we are in cannot simply be fixed by fixing our diet. That’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not the end all be all you make it out to be.

  31. You highlight things like carageenan as bad along with guar gum and Monsanto milk, which I agree with but you don’t highlight the soymilk as bad or the mono and diglycerides. Soymilk is God awful for your thyroid unless it’s fermented and mono and diglycerides are trans fats. Come on Food babe, you’re better than that.

  32. What about Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid? One us antimicrobial compound; used as a preservative the other is a chemical excreted from GMO bacteria fed fermented GMO corn.

  33. Did you find any information on their syrups used in coffees? I love the caramel syrup in my iced coffee but am concerned with what it actually contains.

  34. Thank you Foodbabe for keeping us informed. I will certainly contact Starbucks to switch to Organic milk. On at least a monthly basis, I purchase coffee beans from there primarily because of a Time Magazine article (February 16, 2015) I read about Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks. His company is employee-friendly which offers health benefits, 40lk, stock options, full college tuition at ASU, etc., EVEN for their part-time employees (those who work 20 hours per week or more—looked it up on the internet). In the article he states that “he believes corporations have a duty to help people realize the American dream”. I can purchase other less expensive coffee elsewhere, but because Starbucks supports their employees, even those who work part-time, I hope to continue purchasing their coffee. Going organic is a small step they can take to continue getting my business.

  35. Wow! I started following your blog a while back not really understanding how influential it really is. You’re the reason we’re seeing all the “clean eating” commercials for Panera Bread, and the “we took this out of mac and cheese but it didn’t change the taste” commercials from Kraft. That all started with you! Well done. I can only make small changes at a time, but I’m grateful for all that you do. I joined the Food Babe army, and that’s a start!

  36. Me again, just to let you know I DID email Starbucks and told them I was pleased with the changes they have made, but I still feel more change is needed. I asked them specifically to stop serving GMO fed cows milk and only use grass fed organic cows milk 🙂

  37. This is how they responded: Hello Laura,

    Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company. I just finished reading your email and appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us.

    Starbucks has reviewed all of its coffees and teas and confirmed that none include genetically engineered ingredients. Furthermore, Starbucks does not support research that would lead to genetically engineered coffee or tea products.
     
    Starbucks has adopted as our standard the most stringent food labeling regulations in the world today, the Australia/New Zealand Food Association (ANZFA) labeling regulations. These regulations require labeling for all genetically engineered materials except for highly refined minor ingredients, such as corn starch, that may be derived from genetically engineered material, but contain no such matter. Such ingredients are indistinguishable from these same ingredients derived from non-genetically engineered material. Whenever highly refined minor ingredients are used in our products, we verify that they are free of any genetically engineered material. For more information about the ANZFA regulations, visit http://www.foodstandards.gov.au. Starbucks has also completed a review of other beverage ingredients and all were found free of genetically engineered material except for one beverage ingredient, which has been reformulated to eliminate any risk of that material. We also completed a review of our non-beverage products and confirmed that those products do not require labeling under ANZFA regulations.
     
    In 2009, Starbucks established a buying preference in North America to use industry best practices for animal husbandry and processing for dairy, egg, and meat production. Last year, in consultation with key stakeholders, we expanded our animal welfare policy to include a focus on supporting responsible use of antibiotics to support animal health. Given the limited amount of meat we purchase, we choose to work with our suppliers to address concerns about antibiotic use and are looking to collaborate with others across our industry and in the NGO community to promote best practices on this issue. You can learn more about our animal welfare practices here.

    Starbucks is committed to ensure the safety of the food and drinks we offer for sale to our customers. In all cases, Starbucks will continue to monitor its products against ANZFA requirements and will conform to applicable regulations and labeling requirements in all the countries in which we do business.

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  39. Are there really people out there who thinks Starbucks is in any way healthy? I mean, I’ll indulge in a frappuchino once in a blue moon, but I’ve known from day one it’s little more than a caffeinated milkshake.

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