So I’ve been reading all across the internets that Starbucks now offers vegan Frappuccinos!!! Amazing!! Wonderful!! Outstanding, Starbucks! If only. While some vegans might not worry about refined sugar too much, just about everything at Starbucks is loaded with it. While I’m not the health police, or vegan police for that matter, I have to say that turning your head when it comes to refined sugar does the vegan movement no good in the long run. If you are unaware, a lot of refined sugar is processed with bone char from cows. There are a few companies that DO NOT use bone char:
Florida Crystals Refinery
Refined Sugars Incorporated
Supreme Sugar Company (subsidiary of Archer Daniels Midland)
Sugar Companies that DO use bone char:
California & Hawaiian Sugar Company (excluding the Raw Sugar)
However, knowing where Starbucks gets their sugar for their products is impossible to find out. This is proprietary information that they are not willing to give out. Therefore are these new frappuccinos vegan? Technically, no one knows, except for the sugar manufacturer. How do we get a hold of them? Your guess is as good as mine. If you’re not concerned about the bone char that may or may not be used in the process of your sugar, then eat away. To me, that’s like saying “As long as the cow is dead, what harm is there in using its bones, why let it go to waste?” And I’m quite sure I would never hear those words being uttered by a vegan. Eating refined sugar that you know is processed with bone char is no different in theory than eating steak. You are still giving money to these factory farms.
As for artificial sweeteners, a lot have been used extensively in tests on animals if not by the companies themselves, by the FDA or EPA. I just avoid all artificial sweeteners as much as I can. I stick with Sugar In The Raw. Any turbinado sugar, beet sugar, evaporated cane juice, and agave nectar are vegan. There are lots of others, so just do a little research.
So, unless someone can contact the sugar buyers for Starbucks, and bribe them to tell us where they get their sugar from, it’s best to just leave the frappuccinos to the omnis. I am however working on a master list of vegan friendly products from Starbucks, and since I am a barista there, I can assure you, my research will be thorough.