Had a Snapple Pink Lemonade recently. What’s the phrase I’m looking for. Pedestrian workmanship, maybe? Bursting with adequatulence? Like many Snapple flavors it’s no alarms, no surprises. I guess I like my juices a little more risky. It’s fine enough. Although halfway through drinking it I almost threw up and had to pull the car over.
I remembered that I shouldn’t be drinking pink beverages without reading the label. You’re an omnivore so you probably don’t care about things like this, but veggies like me live in fear of cochineal extract. Cochineal is a bug that is known for its red coloring. It’s commonly used in a juices and lipsticks. They live on cacti and they’re harvested, killed, dried out, pulverized, and then poured into the vats of whatever’s brewing. Ruby Red Grapefruit juice was the big culprit back in the day.
I still remember the first time I learned about this. In college, this girl I was hot for was in the Animal Rights group on campus. One time she came up to me and was like: “Don’t ever drink Ruby Red Grapefruit juice. It has cochineal extract in it.”
I was like: “What’s a cochineal?”
And she was all: “I don’t know, man, but it’s got a fused ganglia.”
That was as intimate as we ever ended up getting, but ever since then I’m on the lookout.
Cochineal is also known as carmine, so be advised. But lately I haven’t seen either used much. Pretty much all of the pink and red juices and sodas, Snapple Pink Grapefruit included, have switched back over to Red 40, which is what you want. Ruby Red doesn’t use cochineal anymore, to the best of my knowledge, but they use something called canthaxanthin. Canthaxanthin is actually still an animal product, common in pinkish animals like shrimp and flamingos. It can be harvested as well as created in a lab. It’s a gray area but I steer clear just to be safe. The idea of drinking a juice that is in any way connected to bugs or flamingos is grody. Have you ever smelled a flamingo? That’s not what I want to be thinking of mid-guzzle.