Starbucks Newly Offered ‘Coconut Milk’ Confirms it’s the McDonald’s of Coffee
by PAUL FASSA
‘In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks is now offering its very own version of “coconut milk” or more formally known as: Starbucks Single Origin Sumatra Coconut Milk.
What might that statement mean in terms of actual quality? “Single origin” sounds impressive, but most likely it means it comes from a single rather large factory in Sumatra where thousands of workers eke out a meager living. What’s so special about that? Another researcher noticed there’s no ‘Fair Trade Certified’ label on the coconut milk carton.’
As the story goes, after fielding numerous coconut milk requests and pleadings from desperate customers along with a very successful coconut milk trial conducted at select Starbucks locations, coconut milk is finally an option at most Starbucks outlets.
Since the demand for coconut milk was decidedly over the top, Starbucks reasoned that customers won’t mind paying an extra 60 cents for their coconut milk. They have been charging 60 cents extra per serving for their organic soy non-dairy creamer. But there’s no extra charge for their conventional dairy option half and half or milk.
Did you know? “Starbucks serves GMO-fed dairy in most of its 20,000 stores around the world, and while Starbucks is already sourcing milk from rBGH-free cows, it still sources milk from cows raised on GMOs.” – Mike Adams
Is this yet another empty, junk food gesture by Starbucks to cash in on their most loyal alternative dairy patrons? Are they seducing gullible consumers who are vegan, Paleo, soy, nut or lactose-intolerant with a cheap, watered down, sugary and additive laden coconut milk that only appears to be a high quality and somewhat healthy option? Most importantly is this just another example that Starbucks operates like most other fast food joints. Should we really expect more?
Slick and shiny packaging! It sure looks high quality and expensive. The coconuts are from an EXOTIC island in Indonesia: Sumatra. Wow!
Is Starbucks coconut milk any better than Trader Joe’s can of coconut milk for 99 cents?
“And they [Starbucks] sell the “rich creaminess” line over and over again, along with a story about all the testing they did (which is nonsense because their product is no better than the cheapest coconut milk *product* on the market).” –Kevin Geary
NOTE: Kevin Geary is the founder of Rebooted Body and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast. He offers proven programs designed to reboot one’s body based on real food, functional movement, and psychology.
Ingredients: coconut milk, water.
BPA FREE CAN
Starbucks’ revenue from unhealthy mostly junk beverages (2009-2014) was $9.46 billion.
By now you must be wondering what are the ingredients in Starbuck’s custom crafted coconut milk?
Thanks to a barista at Starbucks for providing this close-up photo of the ingredients list from a Starbucks coconut milk carton.
In fact, as you can see based on the ingredients that go into Starbucks coconut milk, it’s no better quality-wise than the cheapest, marginally nutritious coconut milk lining most grocery store shelves. Yet, Starbucks wants us to believe that their coconut milk is special because it’s a “single origin coconut milk from tropical Indonesian islands.”
“Starbucks markets this as extra special coconut milk, and it’s not. The fact that “everyone uses fake stuff” was an OPPORTUNITY for Starbucks to step up and be different (kind of like they always claim they are).” – Kevin Geary
Here’s an Excerpt from Starbuck’s nauseating coconut milk press release:
“Delivering the options our customers want is always the highlight of my day,” said Christine Barone, Starbucks vice president brewed espresso. “We have a high bar for anything we pair with our high quality espresso and this coconut milk is smooth and perfectly complements the coffee. I personally love it in an iced vanilla latte. We are excited to hear back what further customer and partner customization coconut milk inspires.”
A CLOSER LOOK AT STARBUCKS “COCONUT MILK” INGREDIENTS
The FDA says “The ingredient list on a food label is the listing of each ingredient in descending order of predominance.” With that in mind here’s Starbucks Coconut Milk which contains 14 Ingredients: 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.
The fact that water is the first ingredient raises a red flag. There’s obviously lots of water in this coconut milk. Shouldn’t coconut cream be the first ingredient? Also there’s nothing to indicate that the water used is purified or even filtered, so we’re left to assume that regular, probably fluoridated tap water was used.
2) Coconut Cream
We don’t know the actual fat content of this coconut cream.
According to Tropical Traditions:
“Commercial coconut milks and creams are generally sold in cans, or sometimes boxes and tetra packs. The main ingredient in these products is water. If the fat content is 17%, it is called “coconut milk.” If the fat content is 24%, it is called “coconut cream.” But most of what you are purchasing is water. Coconut Cream Concentrate, on the other hand, has NO water, and is pure coconut. Unlike the commercial varieties, it also contains ALL the fiber of the coconut. Pure, dried coconut contains more fiber per gram than even oat bran! This fiber has been stripped out of commercial coconut milks and coconut creams. Also, almost all commercial coconut milks and creams have additives to prevent the water from separating from the coconut oil, and also have sulfites added to keep it white longer. Sometimes these additives are so small, that the FDA does not require them to list them on their labels as ingredients.”
3) Cane Sugar
Why is the coconut milk pre-sweetened? Can’t customers simply add their sweetener of choice if they desire a sweet coconut milk? A hefty 8 grams of sugar per serving! Besides the fact that sugar has no real nutritional value, excess sugar consumption has been linked to many serious health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
4) Tricalcium phosphate (TCP)
Excerpts from: www.inRfood.com
Used as a food thickening agent, which adds smoothness and opacity to food. Increases calcium levels.
“When added to food, tricalcium phosphate increases the level of calcium. There are no “known” side effects of consuming tricalcium phosphate in foods, but contact with the substance directly has led to reports of nausea, a loss of appetite, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth and increased thirst and urination.”
NOTE: “Individuals following a vegan, vegetarian, kosher or halal diet may want to check on the appropriateness of tricalcium phosphate in their diet because it may be derived from the bones of dead animals.”
5) Coconut Water Concentrate
The problem with most coconut water is that it’s pasteurized which largely destroys its health benefits.
From the Food Babe: “Using a concentrate instead of fresh juice: Some coconut water companies get away with saying their drinks contain “100% Coconut Water” that’s “All Natural” even though it’s made from a reconstituted concentrate. Just like other juices in the store, they heat fresh coconut water and reduce it to a syrup. It’s cheaper for them to import this coconut water syrup, which they later add water prior to packaging. Any juice that has been heated to this extent loses a significant amount of its nutrients and its beneficial enzymes are denatured (i.e. the enzymes don’t work anymore).”
6) “Natural flavors”
This term tells us nothing useful except that its primary job is to act as a fig leaf for hidden toxic additives like GMOs, MSG, bugs, and aspartame to name a few. Also, soy lecithin and industrial waste product is commonly used as an emulsifier (used to keep ingredients from separating) and it’s found hiding behind the deceptive natural flavors ingredient.
Soy Lecithin is derived from the waste product of the processing of the soybean plant. In an 1excerpt from the book “The Whole Soy Story“, Dr. Kaayla T. Daniels
7) Sea Salt
Sea salt is the good stuff, right? Yes and no. The real stuff is good for you but not all sea salts are genuine. Technically the sea is where all salt is said to originate from, and since there are no government regulations that qualify how salt can be labeled it a classic caveat emptor situation. Real sea salt is healthy because it hasn’t been bleached, it’s unrefined or raw and its rich mineral content is intact (over 80 minerals). In contrast common refined table salt consists of sodium chloride with some added iodine.
Carrageenan is a seaweed-based additive that is strongly linked to inflammation. Back in the 1960’s researchers found that food-grade carrageenan was correlated with various types of GI dysfunction in lab rats. It acts as a thickener and keeps the ingredients of the food product from separating. There are two types of Carrageenan, degraded and undegraded. Only the undegraded version is deemed safe for human consumption.
From the Cornucopia Institute:
“Degraded carrageenan is such a potent inflammatory agent that scientists routinely use it to induce inflammation and other disease in laboratory animals, to test anti-inflammation drugs and other pharmaceuticals.”
Way back in the late 1960s, researchers linked food-grade carrageenan to GI diseases in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis and intestinal lesions.
“Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding,” long time carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois School of Medicine at Chicago.
9) Gellan Gum
Gellan gum is artificially produced by fermentation of a non-pathogenic bacteria. It’s used as a thickening agent. There was one small 23 day study with humans. Ten volunteers were supplemented with gellan gum at a level 30 times above normal dietary exposure. Gellan gum acted as a bulking agent and no adverse effects were reported. Another 4 week study involved rats which were supplemented with Gellan Gum (5% of their diet) showed abnormalities in intestinal microvilli.
One very small positive human study and one short term negative rat study are inclusive regarding Gellan Gum potential adverse effects. Again those with gut issues should probably avoid Gellen Gum.
10) Corn Dextrin
Dextrins are created from starches. Corn dextrin is most likely derived from GMO corn especially if the corn is derived from the USA or Argentina. Also gene technology could be utilized with plant-based starch sources.
11) Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is derived from a bacterial fermentation process. It’s commonly used as a food thickening agent and a stabilizer in cosmetic products. A major concern with Xanthan gum is that it can cause an allergic reaction in those sensitive to a corn, soy, or wheat growth medium. When wheat is used, problems for those who are gluten intolerant can occur. Both groups can experience Gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
12) Guar Gum
Guar Gum is derived from food. It’s used as a thickening agent and an emulsifier. Studies have found that very high doses 21 grams a day for three months can cause gastrointestinal distress such as increased gas and adnominal irritation. However, those with sensitive digestion systems could experience problems with very small amounts of Guar Gum.
13) Isolate Synthetic vitamin A
Isolated, synthetic vitamin A cannot be metabolized by the body. Instead it gets stored in the body along with other toxins. Synthetic vitamin A is essentially toxic. Excerpt from: All About Nutritional Healing which was written by Judith A. DeCava, CNC, LNC.
“In virtually every study on vitamin A toxicity, it is isolated, synthetic supplements that are associated with adverse effects, not foods. Experimental animals and human subjects receive or are taking retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, or a synthetic retinoic acid derivative. Even small amounts of synthetic forms of vitamin A may be toxic, the actual amount differing with individuals and factors such as liver health. It is the toxicity of synthetic forms of vitamin A that produce the publicity about alleged dangers of vitamin A. Natural food sources of vitamin A are well tolerated at even high doses.”
14) Vitamin D2
The D vitamin that’s beneficial to humans is Vitamin D3 which is found in real whole foods like pastured raw milk which are very bio-available as they contain important enzymes and co-factors that allow the body to fully assimilate the D3. By far the very best form of D3 is made by the human body from sun exposure.
On the other hand, synthetic Vitamin D2 is an isolated form of the vitamin and essentially can’t be used by the body. (here’s the study). It may actually be harmful. D2 is made by irradiating fungus and plant matter.
Note on The Gum Additives
Generally anyone with a sensitive digestive system and especially those with serious digestive problems like IBS, IBD, GERD, etc. should probably avoid all the gum additives as they are indigestible and may cause varying degrees of gastrointestinal distress.
LOW QUALITY UNHEALTHY, OVERPRICED, INGREDIENTS IS NOTHING NEW AT STARBUCKS.
BUT SURELY STARBUCKS COFFEE IS HIGH QUALITY?
The majority of Starbucks locations serve conventional coffee, which as most know is heavily sprayed with chemical pesticides. That means with every sip of coffee, you’re increasing your exposure to powerful toxins which over time build up in the body because they can’t be properly metabolized and can cause serious health problems. Not to mention that the coffee is expensive considering its low quality level.
The World of Caffeine, The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug called Starbucks out on its burnt coffee beans. A short but informative article penned by Bennett Alan Weinberg entitled: Burned Beans — The Shame of Starbucks is worth a read.
Consumer Reports magazine conducted a coffee test at two locations of both Starbucks and McDonalds; its tasters reported that McDonald’s coffee was “decent and moderately strong” with “no flaws.”
They reported that the Starbucks coffee “was strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open.” The March, 2007 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, advises, “Try McDonald’s, which was cheapest and best.”
Even more recent coffee tasters have ranked Dunkin’ Donuts and MacDonald’s as superior to Starbucks. Starbucks coffee often places at the very bottom in the worst tasting coffee of all categories.
After reading the Starbucks press release and carefully studying the ingredients in Starbucks latest junk beverage offering – “coconut milk,” it’s obvious that the PR department ran with a questionable but apparently effective coconut milk marketing campaign – so far. Thankfully, some are seeing through the deception.
Bottom Line: Starbucks has managed to convince a segment of the health conscious, non-dairy crowd that Starbucks is serving a high quality, “single sourced” coconut milk from Sumatra that pairs fabulously with their burnt coffee and other additive drenched and cloying sugary exotic beverages and assorted junk food. Starbucks is the McDonalds of coffee!
Paul Fassa is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com. His pet peeves are the Medical Mafia’s control over health and the food industry and government regulatory agencies’ corruption. Paul’s valiant contributions to the health movement and global paradigm shift are world renowned. Visit his blog by following this link and follow him on Twitter here.