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The Skinny Confidential talks Starbucks.
I’m sorry but Starbucks is manipulative.

While I do love their green iced tea with a splash of passion, I’m still very annoyed.

Here’s why: recently they announced that they’re carrying coconut milk.

Well gee golly. THIS IS HUGE, I thought. WOW!! COCONUT MILK. Such a big chain promoting a non-dairy alternative that’s full of healthy fats? YESSSS. We’re making some progress.

Starbucks says it’s “vegan” too! DOUBLE WOW.

Well here’s the real deal guys: Starbuck isn’t telling the full story.

The truth is, it’s full of shit. Literally.

Natural Society breaks it down for us simply…here’s what’s in the ‘healthy’ new alternative:

Tricalcium phosphate – Moderately safe, but can still cause problems.

“Natural flavors” – We all know how ubiquitous these can be – many ‘natural’ flavors were nothing more than chemicals in multiple food trials, but Pepsi-Co and others have had to pay millions to force them to take them out of our food and stop calling something carcinogenic “natural.”

Carrageenan – A strange food stuff that causes inflammation. ( REMEMBER I DID A POST ON THIS CRAP? ).

Gellan gum, xanthan gum, and guar gum – Indigestible gums that can have a negative effect on your gut flora and cause diarrhea. ( Ewwwww ).

Corn dextrin – This is probably used as a thickening agent, but is also likely made from GM corn since so much of it is planted throughout the US now.

* Also it’s non organic, not fair trade, & bad for the environment according to this source.

Here are the REAL 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.


{ info via }

So, uh what the hell Starbucks…this isn’t coconut milk. It’s fake as can be.

The thing is I’m not going to nit pick every single thing chemical or ingredient I ingest but when it comes to something I drink daily ( a cup of coffee ), I want it DONE RIGHT, 100%, A+, ya know? And that’s non-GMO coffee with REAL coconut or almond milk & a bunch of organic cinnamon.

Is that asking too much?

I really don’t think so?

Millions of other people love their Starbucks so when it comes to calling them out, I’m coming from a place of wanting all the info before ordering a cup of Joe with “coconut milk.”

Starbucks is simply capitalizing on the latest health & wellness trend.

I for one will still be drinking my coconut milk…this kind is my favorite one to drink because there are barely any ingredients, from Thailand, & organic. I ordered it off Amazon & it’s delicious!! Goes well with coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, &/or in soups!

So yah, that’s what going on today, I’m pissed at Starbucks.


lauryn, x

{ pic }

  1. 100% agree. If Starbucks upped their game it would change the world. Literally. Bring on the fair trade, organic non gmo.

  2. loved your rant. nice to see people are starting to care about ingredient lists over calories! finally the truth behind healthy eating is taking center stage. refreshing.

    but seriously, i love starbucks. but but but, their products are not pillars of health. basically, it is the fast food of coffee. i mean, they serve drinks with a gazillion calories and zero nutrients. it’s diabetes in a cup (a really cute cup). so it’s hard to nag about a few extra chemicals swimming around in the froth. ya know?

    personally, i stick to black coffee. it’s the safe bet. i still collect their travel mugs and love their merch so i’m def not hatin’ on starbucks. they do a lot of good for the community and for the most part have a pretty solid etho when it comes to business.

    still – i wonder what they would do if Taylor Swift called them out? 😉

  3. Thank you for this! Honestly, it can get so frustrating having to wonder if everything (even the stuff at the super popular, fairly progressive coffee shops) is actually what it claims to be, or is hidden behind a veil of faux-healthiness. Obviously Starbucks knows that customers want coconut milk for a healthy dairy-free alternative, so why not just get the stuff we want (you know, the real stuff!)?

  4. While I am slightly obsessed with Starbucks I have always felt that there is something wrong with their so-called ‘healthy alternatives’ to obviously not healthy at all drinks. I hate it when companies promote bad chemicals by calling them healthy or low sugar or whatever name which tricks people into thinking that they are good for their body when it is far from healthy :/ I will be sticking to homemade drinks as much as I can and only saving Starbucks for emergencies haha xx

    Jacqueline | Sail Away to Neverland ♡

  5. This is why I make my own coffee at home. Even iced coffee, and when I am in a hurry or on vacation and have to go to any coffee shop I order black with some whole milk. Granted I have no problem with dairy like a lot of people do but my point is that I keep it plain and simple which saves my wallet too.

  6. Thanks for revealing the ingredients! I tried a latte with cocount milk once and it was SO nasty. It tasted like it was made with flavored coconut water which isn’t exactly tasty with coffee when you’re expecting something creamy!

  7. This is horrible! I had no idea so I’m glad you posted this. It doesn’t make any sense that Starbucks would half ass this, instead of going all the way. Starbucks is a big enough company that they can afford to get the quality product at an affordable price.

  8. OH MY GOD. I thought for this whole past school year (I am a freshman in college) that I was healthifying my drinks when asking for coconut milk…. UGH starbucks shouldn’t half ass the coconut milk… Thank you Lauryn for doing a post on this! So eye opening and you have just saved my ass from Starbucks! (literally)

  9. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with starbucks. They’re drinks are good but all those syrups and (admittedly) yummy things have soooo many hidden calories, sugars and yuckies. Thanks for sharing Lauren!
    xx, Pia

  10. I was really excited about them carrying coconut milk, but not so much anymore. Thank you so much for sharing this information, I’m sure most people would just drink it without a second thought.

    xo, Liz

  11. Great insight, thanks for sharing! Also, it’s SUPER easy to make your own coconut milk! Literally just coconut and water!

  12. In fairness, immediately after they started carrying it months ago the ingredients were widely posted so why people still ordered it is beyond me. Consumers need to do their part too and look up what they’re eating and drinking.

  13. I’m so mad at Starbucks because they are closing down the La Boulange bakeries in San Francisco. ALL OF THEM. La Boulange is a classic SF cafe and has been around forever. They have a local mom and pop feel and true SF charm. But a year or two ago, Starbucks bought them to spruce up their food menu (which has been a huge success). Now Starbucks is saying that the individual bakeries are no longer profitable so they are just going to close them. So much for keeping local favorites alive. Hello corporate America. Grr.

    ♥ Lisa
    strum simmer sip

  14. Loved your rant. Starbucks isn’t very big over here in Aus (there isn’t a single store in my state!) but when I’m overseas, I’m always astounded by the stuff they add in to their drinks and the fact that they still call themselves a coffee shop!! It’s a bit scary the number of people that drink this stuff on a regular basis… Gotta love a good homemade coconut cream hot chocolate though (:

  15. LOL my fam thought that Starbucks was healthy because of their coconut milk. It’s absolutely bullshit! It made me laugh that they refused to believe me even when I said their ingredients were exposed!

  16. Amen! I so agree. I was so excited when I saw that they were carrying coconut milk b/c I thought it meant an end to my weird habit of carrying travel bottles of canned coconut milk around with me. When I tried it, I thought “there’s no way this is the same. It tastes too different.” I did some research and was so angry! I wonder how many people choose this thinking they’re choosing the “healthy option”.

  17. I’m glad you wrote this-Sadly big corporations have to but through large chain food brokers.So getting in real cocout milk starts with the supplier and trickles down.its also lack of knowledge from the’s goes like this.Consumers want almond milk.they get the food supplier brand cheap crap.then it’s on Co sumer still have no idea.even @wholefoods.I if u don’t ask for organic at the juice bar or coffee bar your likely getting some generic non organization ic 365 brand. I lI’ve that you put this out there publicly.Starbucks has very acidic coffees ( non organic).

  18. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad you posted this! Since summer has come around I have been getting way too many iced coffees and macchiatos from there. This will definitely help me to quit doing that. I just needed a reminder! Thank you!

  19. This drives me crazy and is so common amongst main stream companies to capitalize on health trends and do it completely wrong! Next thing you know McDonalds will have coconut flavored coffee with milk lol

    1. I bet it especially drives you crazy because you live in Thailand which has the freshest of fresh!! You’re so lucky!

  20. Ughhh, this is so gross. Thank you so much for posting this. I definitely need to start looking more at the ingredients that are in my food and beverages. I thought there would at least be some standards that went into claiming “natural” and “organic” but I guess I should have known better. Thanks!

  21. It’s like when companies try to be “green” but really aren’t and they call it “greenwashing” – this is “HEALTH-WASHING”!!! The Soy is also full of crap…and what’s worse it they won’t let you pour your own in your coffee and the barista puts the wrong amount in EVERY time…then gets pissed at me when I ask for more. I’m on a boycott!

  22. I used to work at Starbucks in Canada and we’re not as advanced as in the states but nothing about Starbucks is healthy! I was so shocked and surprised by the amount of crap that goes into some of the drinks!!! I am definitely not surprised that their coconut milk is crap as well! Just be careful when ordering!

  23. This is annoying.. I quickly grabbed what I thought was organic coconut milk the other day and it also contains a bunch of crap.. -_-


  24. Ahhh, I have a love/hate relationship with starbucks. I LOVE the fact that its quick, fast, and E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, but I just wish they served up REAL healthy drinks so that I wouldn’t have to feel so guilty indulging as often as I do. Thanks for always being real with us!

  25. I totally agree! This is why educating yourself about what you are eating (especially if it is on a daily basis) is sooo important! Thanks for sharing!

    xo Annie

  26. Thank you for being someone who reads labels! I feel like I am a Lone Ranger some days reading labels in the supermarket. I feel like a crazy mom for being different. As a family we still have non healthy items, but like you stated. For our daily regular staples… It better be real. Our labels in this country are false and misleading! And sometimes knowing how it is made is important too. I never knew orange juice sits for a year prior to being bottled so they have to boil it and add sugar and sweetners… And that includes the ‘Natural fresh squeezed” brands.

  27. Totally see where you are coming from on this post. However, the coconut milk from Starbucks you are referring to and taking issue with is the same stuff that is trending right now in the grocery stores that people are buying in giant cartons that is actually “coconut milk beverage.” The So Delicious Coconut Milk has very similar ingredients to what you described. I’m not sure which brand Sbux is using, but likely one of those. They’re not manufacturing their own brand to trick everyone and feed people poison. It’s cheaper. Also, people are expecting the “coconut milk beverage” as far as taste and nutritional stats as this is what they are buying at home. The kind in the can is much more expensive and much higher in fat/calories than the fake carton stuff. Not disagreeing with you at all though, “coconut milk beverage” is not real coconut milk and does have a lot of questionable ingredients so certainly not as healthy as it’s cracked up to be. That’s just the nature of these food trends!

  28. Yes, VERY annoying! I pretty much only drink coffee at home at this point because I’m tired of bothering baristas by making them let me see the actual milk containers whenever I order beverages at these places. I was super excited too when I dropped into Starbucks for a green tea recently and saw they were carrying coconut milk. However when I asked to see the actual product they were using I was immediately turned off by the sugar content – I didn’t even get to the ingredients. I knew it was too good to be true!

  29. I have to agree with you too. I was so excited to see they had Coconut Milk, but I tried it once and have steered clear of it since. So disappointing 🙁

  30. Bummer…I was so excited about coconut milk and new it was sweetened but didn’t think it was crap filled. Love the small mom and pop coffee shops who do it right for us…

  31. I believe the extra ingredients because otherwise the coconut milk will not froth. They are in a bit of a catch 22. Consumers demand healthy products yet still expect the same frothy latte. You can’t have both (although I am fine with a standard latte)

  32. Honestly we need to have more clarity and visibility into things like this because when we buy, we are also making decisions and taking a stand for something.

    I think there is an education piece where people need to educate themselves on what they are buying and drinking (which you are helping to do) but also an accountability piece that corporations have to being honest to their customers.

    This post and info could be a fav

    thank u!

  33. Lauryn, do you know of any almond milks that don’t contain those gums mentioned? I drink Silk and it still has gellan gum. I feel like it’s almost unavoidable assuming I don’t want to make my own from scratch. Am I right? Eeeek!

    1. The only option I’ve seen is making it from scratch : (. It’s like choosing from the lesser of two evils. UGH.

  34. Agreed!! I heard about this awhile ago and was so excited for a non-dairy alternative besides nasty soy for about a minute until I read the ingredients! And even if they didn’t have all the other additives, why do they need to sweeten it??? Most people are going to add a syrup anyway, so what about those of us who actually like the taste of coffee and don’t want to start our mornings off with a sugar rush?? Gross.

  35. The first ingredient on Coconut Milk should never be “Water.” End of story. Except it’s not. There are at least a dozen other problems with their CM. But this is always the tip off. Ingredients are required to be listed in order, highest to lowest amounts.

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