My Last Post about Food Babe and Starbucks

    By now you know that Food Babe posted an article about the Starbucks PSL and it has pretty much gone viral over Facebook.  I just want to offer some perspective. I did some further research this morning and came up with some of my own conclusions. I am by no means a food expert. I have a telecommunications background and project management training. I have doctors and nurses in my family who are much more qualified than me to give any kind of a nutritional advice. I just find this particular topic interesting.

   Food Babe used some websites in her article and links to other articles in her website.  She posted links to other blogs on her website and one link to Starbucks menu. She also posted a blurb from an email she claims she received but no date or time stamps or signature from the source.  I can do the same thing but this does not make either one of us an expert. Neither one of us has a degree in medicine, nutrition, or chemistry.  

   The Food Babe also talked about transparency by Starbucks and that employees would not give information. Well this morning I walked into my local Starbucks and asked the barista to show me the pumpkin spice syrup bottle and the whole milk jug. This barista showed me right away, no questions asked.    

   Food Babe discusses the non -organic milk at Starbucks. So we all know what the definition of organic is and that the USDA has a certification program. The certification of organic is conducted by accredited agencies and not the USDA itself.  These certifications cost money and while fees vary, it must be pretty hefty if the USDA can provide financial assistance. You can find more information about this here… http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/NOPFAQsHowCertified  This morning I asked to see  the gallon of whole milk that was used to make the lattes at Starbucks. The jug did say hormone free and antibiotic free milk. Which to me is more important when I am out at an establishment such as Starbucks. For my home I purchase organic hormone and antibiotic free milk but as I have said before, I understand that it’s expensive to buy organic milk and the cost of dairy in general is high and that it makes more business sense to go with not only what customers may want but what fits the budget to run a business. I  suggest that people stick to whole milk anyway because based on what I have read whole milk is better and reduced fat milk is milk that has the fat taken out and then replaced by sugar and salt to give it taste. Here is an article discussing why low fat milk may not be as healthy as we think. There are several articles as well floating around out there.

 http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/07/02/lowfat-milk-may-not-be-as-healthy-as-we-thought-says-harvard-expert/

  Food Babe’s claim about Caramel Color. I  asked for the bottle of pumpkin sauce. It does say caramel color e150d.  Well she may be on to something here. There are lots of studies going on about Caramel Color and the different levels and the effects on people. Nothing seems to be concrete about Caramel Color and the level 4 being a carcinogenic. I found this information on the FDA Website that I found interesting.

http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm364184.htm

   I also found this article on webmd.com discussing caramel color and other food dyes from a different perspective. Stating that there has not been enough evidence to support claims about caramel color. We should all eat less processed foods and eat as organic and natural as possible. It is always best. But we know that as we are out in public going to places such as Starbucks that you are not going to get to eat and drink 100% natural.

http://blogs.webmd.com/healthy-recipe-doctor/2010/07/whats-up-with-food-dyes.html

   As a side note, Annatto, which is in Starbucks Pumpkin sauce is a plant based food color. It is generally safe but if you have an allergy to it, you may experience reactions. I do not think this should be a warning that is any different than someone with a nut allergy should avoid foods with nuts or foods that are prepared in the same area as nuts. But that’s just my humble opinion.

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