Watch where you get your next latte, it could be your last

Sept. 22, 2014

Celeste Burnham
cburnham@uccs.edu

You could very well be killing yourself over a pumpkin drink.

As fall approaches, the sweet aroma of Starbucks’ famed pumpkin spice latte is back and turning heads. But at a time where many crave the seasonal beverage and praise its great taste, a darker tone has overshadowed the delicious blend of cream and spices: the ingredients.

Foodbabe.com, a blogger who investigates foods, recently studied the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. It was discovered that the popular seasonal drink contained ingredients that are linked to intestinal infl ammation and cancer, as well as an unreasonable amount of sugar.

Many who have read the blog have become appalled.

The national coffee chain became engulfed by critics and fans alike for making a drink that doesn’t have real pumpkin in any portion of the beverage. Although delicious, the question might not be taste, but health.

Adelia Stranko, freshman nutrition major, expressed her view on the beverage.

“I personally find the pumpkin spice from Starbucks to taste very artificial as it is just a syrup. I prefer an actual spice mixture,” Stranko said.

Luckily, there are healthier local options to turn to.

Dutch Bros. offers a pumpkin spice latte that still contains sugar and syrup, but you have the option of coconut milk, instead of condensed, conventional milk like Starbucks.

Coconut milk allows vegans the opportunity to experience the pumpkin spice and eliminates the possibly of drinking milk from cows that were fed genetically modified organisms, which have been known to carry toxins.

Or you can go crazy and handcraft your own drink, such as pumpkin spice chai, white mocha or mocha with whipped cream and piecrust sprinkles on top.

Sara Barber, sophomore nursing student, has specific preferences about her coffee and likes to know exactly what she is putting into her body.

“I try to avoid drinking Starbucks when possible because I feel like a lot of their products could be artificial and have a large sugar content,” said Barber.

“I just like to be able to control what I put in my body. I also don’t like how Starbucks doesn’t offer milk alternatives besides soy. So I’ve sought out alternative coffee shops that offer almond or coconut milk.”

Whole Foods also has a great alternative pumpkin spice latte that contains no artificial flavorings. Their Allegro pumpkin spice syrup is certified organic with natural sugars and vegetable glycerin.

Compared to a medium at Starbucks with 50 grams of sugar, Whole Foods pumpkin spice latte has just 27 grams of natural sugars. This healthier option is also made with real pumpkin spices and you have the option of coconut or almond milk.

Being a college student requires caffeine intake, but cost can get in the way of health. Not so here.

A medium pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks is $5 with tax. A medium at Dutch Bros. is $4 and at Whole Foods $4.09 after tax.

Always consider what you are really consuming and paying for. Is the label on the cup really worth the long-term costs? Consider healthier alternatives on your next study break.