Tag Archives: Starbucks

Bug Colors. Are Cochineal Beetles in Your Food?

Here at FoodFacts.com, we have been fielding several inquiries on colors extracted from Cochineal Beetles over the past few weeks.

 

Most recently, this topic has been the talk of the town following a news report on the subject, which revealed that the coloring created from the Cochineal Beetles was used in a Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccino drink. This has caused both vegans and non-vegans alike to criticize the coffee chain, both on the ick factor and the notion that vegans are unknowingly ingesting animal products when consuming the drink in question.

 

But the use of color from Cochineal Beetles is nothing new. The colors created from the beetles are cochineal extract and carmine, the latter of which was recently the focus of a controversial ingredient day on the FoodFacts Facebook page. The colors are extracted from the female Cochineal Beetles, which are raised in Peru, the Canary Islands, and elsewhere, and provides a red, pink or purple color to the products it is in.

 

What many people don’t realize when questioning the “bug ingredients” is that such colors could illicit a severe allergic reaction in some people. Over the past several years, doctors both in the United States and outside of the country have determined that colorings could cause allergic reactions, such as sneezing, asthma and even anaphylactic shock.

 

Both carmine and cochineal extract can be found in food items such as candies, juices, ice creams and yogurts. It can also be found in certain medicines, including cough drops. Finally, these ingredients can be found in dyed cosmetic products, such as lipstick.

 

So how does one avoid it? By reading the ingredients on the packaging and knowing what colors are derived from the beetles, you should be able to avoid the products if you need to because of an allergy, or want to because of the ick factor. Knowledge is power, after all.

 

We here at FoodFacts are wishing you the best!

Oatmeal now available at BK as a “healthier” option

burger-king-oatmeal
Foodfacts.com has reported on the trend of “healthier” options becoming marketed at major fast-food chains. McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Denny’s have all opted to add oatmeal to their menus in hopes of reaching a newer demographic of consumers. Burger King is now including oatmeal on their menu for just $1.99 in hopes of boosting revenue for the remainder of the year. Check out the article below to find out more on this new menu item!

Huffington PostOatmeal is the new burger.

Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, added oatmeal to its breakfast menu this week, joining a slew of other chains that have brought the hot cereal out of the cupboard and into restaurants and drive-thrus.
Click logo for Burger King products at blog.foodfacts.com!
Burger King says it is trying to offer customers a healthier breakfast option beyond its sausage croissant sandwiches and French toast dipping sticks. It’s also an attempt by the struggling chain to catch up to competitors and boost sagging sales by appealing to customers beyond its base of burger-and-fries fans.

“We are definitely looking to broaden our target and our audience,” said Leo Leon, vice president of global innovation for Burger King Corp.

Breakfast is becoming the most important meal of the day for restaurants – accounting for nearly 60 percent of traffic growth between 2005 and 2010. And oatmeal is the latest battleground. It’s low-cost, easily prepared and doesn’t spoil quickly. It also appeals to people who want quick, affordable food they perceive as healthier than the typical fast-food breakfast fare.
fruit-and-maple-oatmeal
Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, said its $2.49 oatmeal has become its most popular breakfast item since it launched in 2008. Last year, McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest burger chain, added $2.99 oatmeal to its menu. Fast food chain Chick-fil-A and Denny’s casual dining restaurants also offer oatmeal, for $2.49 to 2.85 and 3.49 to 4.49, respectively. Burger King’s oatmeal, at $1.99, is the cheapest of the group.

Restaurants are trying to capitalize on oatmeal’s good-for-you reputation. But some industry experts say it’s not a good fit for fast-food chains.

McDonald’s has faced scrutiny for its oatmeal’s 4.5 grams of fat and 260 to 290 calories. That’s roughly equal to the number of calories in its own hamburger or cheeseburger. By comparison, Burger King’s oatmeal, which was created by Quaker Oats Co., has 110 to 270 calories and 1 to 4 grams of fat.

Still, Steve West, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said: “People don’t go to Burger King or McDonald’s for their oatmeal … they go for an Egg McMuffin.”

For Burger King, oatmeal is part of a larger strategy. It’s critical for the chain to find a convenient new breakfast option. Burger King said 10 percent to 15 percent of its customers visit during breakfast. And the fast-food chain sells the majority of its food to go or at the drive-thru.

The company also is eager to replicate the success of McDonald’s, which has reinvented itself as a more hip and healthy place to eat, remodeling stores, offering wireless Internet service and introducing new salads, smoothies and coffee drinks. That’s brought in higher-income customers than the young males fast-food chains typically depend on – a demographic hit particularly hard by unemployment in the weak economy.

Burger King, based in Miami, has a lot of catching up to do. McDonald’s brought in more than $32 billion in U.S. sales last year, nearly four times Burger King’s $8.7 billion, according to research firm Technomic. That was a 4.4 percent increase for McDonald’s and a 2.5 percent decline for Burger King.

In the second quarter, Burger King’s profit fell 13 percent and its revenue fell 4 percent to $596.2 million, compared with a year earlier, due in large part to weakness in its North American operations. McDonald’s profit rose 15 percent and revenue grew 16 percent to $6.9 billion during its comparable period.

It’s going to take more than a hot meal to turn around Burger King’s business. Industry experts say the company has let its product lineup grow stale, and the quality of its stores has deteriorated.

“You can sell all the oatmeal and lattes and smoothies you want,” said West, the analyst. “But they’ve got to remodel the stores – for the most part Burger King stores are very old and rundown.”

Burger King, which has been reevaluating its business since it was acquired by investment firm 3G Capital last year, recently made other changes. The chain said Friday that it was retiring its mascot “The King” and launching a new campaign focused more on food. The company also added new salads and “Apple Fries” – apple slices cut to look like fries for its kids’ meals.

Worst Bottled Coffee!

worst171

Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino (1 bottle, 13.7 fl oz)
290 calories
4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated)
45 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 32 Nilla Wafers

Foodfacts.com is looking into the unhealthiest drinks in America. With an unreasonable number of calorie landmines peppered across Starbucks’ in-store menu, you’d think the company would want to use its grocery line to restore faith in its ability to provide caffeine without testing the limits of your belt buckle. Guess not. This drink has been on our radar for years, and we still haven’t managed to find a bottled coffee with more sugar. Consider this—along with Starbucks’ miniature Espresso and Cream Doubleshot—your worst option for a morning pickup.

Information provided by Menshealth.com

America’s Worst Espresso Drink

starbuckespresso

Foodfacts.com is looking into the most unhealthy drinks in America. Lets take a look at Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream

Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream (venti, 20 fl oz)
660 calories
22 g fat (15 g saturated)
95 g sugars

Sugar Equivalent: 8½ scoops Edy’s Slow Churned Rich and Creamy Coffee Ice Cream

Hopefully this will dispel any lingering fragments of the “health halo” that still exists in coffee shops—that misguided belief that espresso-based beverages can’t do much damage. In this 20-ounce cup, Starbucks manages to pack in more calories and saturated fat than two slices of deep-dish sausage and pepperoni pizza from Domino’s. That makes it the equivalent of dinner and dessert disguised as a cup of coffee. If you want a treat, look to Starbucks’ supply of sugar-free syrups; if you want a caffeine buzz, stick to the regular joe, an Americano, or a cappuccino.

Information provided by Men’s Health Magazine.

Happy Birthday Starbucks!

Since Starbucks is on our good side right now, thanks to their healthy perfect Oatmeal, we thought we would give them a birthday shout out.
Birthday Pop

So “Happy 40th Birthday Starbucks! Love, Food Facts P.S. We love your Perfect Oatmeal! ”

What’s in it for you?? Well, this Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 2pm-5pm Starbucks will be giving you a free little dessert when you buy a drink! These little desserts, they are calling Starbucks Petites include cake pops, sweet squares and whoopie pies! Why are we giving these yummy but unhealthy treats the ok? Well, each treat is under 200 calories and is little! So just remember one is enough! Rocky Road Pop

If you are on a diet, small little desserts are a great way not to starve yourself of your favorite foods but keep portion size in check. Give yourself a little treat so you won’t over do it on something else!

Which flavor will you all get? We have our eye on the Red Velvet Whoopie Pie!
Red Velvet Whoopie Pie

Popular Organic Milk Brand Might Be In Trouble

Horizon Organic Milk is facing criticism after the release of their new “Horizon Fat-Free Milk Plus DHA Omega 3″ product on February 22nd . The bad reviews are stemming from the popular Organic brand (their kid cartons are even at Starbucks) adding the synthetic ingredient DHA oil to their new fat-free milk line.
Horizon Milk
Note: Just this particular product is under fire, the rest of the brand, owned by parent company Dean Foods, seems to maintain it’s good organic reputation.

Organic food watchdog groups such as the Cornucopia Institute, are complaining that if a product has DHA oil in it then, it shouldn’t be considered organic.

Dean Foods’ Horizon spokesman Dr. Alan Greene said “Organic milk fortified with DHA is a great option for families looking to incorporate nutritious products in their diets with the proven benefits of DHA, including those for heart, brain and eye health.”

Charlotte Vallaeys, a farm and food policy analyst with Cornucopia is concerned that DHA’s nutritional benefits haven’t been proven nor has it been reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board “It is therefore absolutely baffling that Dean Foods would introduce a product with synthetic DHA and have the audacity to label it organic, and it’s even more disturbing that their certifier would allow this,”

What do you guys think? Should products with DHA be considered Organic?

McDonald’s Oatmeal

Our previous blog tells how to make Oatmeal the right way, this blog shows how McDonald’s is making Oatmeal the wrong way.

Oatmeal should be made with primarily one ingredient, not twenty one! Sure, at home you can add a little brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, apples or milk, but you are doing so sparingly and with ingredients that are fresh without chemicals (McDonald’s “cream” has seven ingredients??)

I’m sure McDonald’s knows that once you walk into a McDonald’s you aren’t going to order just Oatmeal, they are just trying to get you in the door.

Has anyone tried the McDonald’s Oatmeal?