About a month ago a online blogger Daelyn Fortney, from This Dish is Veg, received a reported from a reader that Starbucks had begun using red dye from crushing beetles to create a natural product. The dye was ending up in things like the Strawberry frap that was at one time vegan friendly when paired with soy milk. As you can see by the photo that I lifted from her blog below. (see cochineal)
Along with her post she also created an online petition to have Starbucks remove the bug dye (cochineal).
The petition along with other media outlets picking up on the story has caused Starbucks to phase out the use of bug based red dye, with a tomato based dye.
I believe the story was also told here on Roaste, however I couldn't find a blog entry on it. I just find something like this encouraging that the internet can allow for such a quick reponse to something. The use of the bug dye was just started in January of this year, and now in mid-April it has caused Starbucks to change it's plan.
While I do not have anything against using the bug dye myself, I can understand how vegans would feel having a drink basically taken away from their ordering options. It was probably just done on a cost basis trying to get away from artifical ingredients and without thought switched to this bug dye.
In other words it's nice to see how this played out, now anyone care to start a petition to get semi-automatic machines back into Starbucks and a lighter roast? I guess that one is probably just a pipe dream though....