(NaturalNews) Undoubtedly, Starbucks is a coffee Kingpin, which boasts the largest coffeehouse chain in the world, with 23,187 stores in 64 countries, and annual sales of $14.9 billion, while CEO Howard Schultz is worth a whooping $1.6 billion.
Although statistically impressive at first glance, an important question remains: are Starbucks food and beverage offerings high quality and healthy?
Not a healthier option
1) Their coffee quality. Coffee beans are one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Yet only a mere 1.1 percent of Starbucks coffee is organic.
What about their decaf coffee; it's a healthy option isn't it? Well, it's from conventional coffee beans, which are laced with pesticides. But it gets worse.
How many decaf coffee drinkers know that the majority of conventionally decaffeinated coffee is produced by soaking coffee beans in a toxic soup of solvents like methylene chloride, a suspected human carcinogen, which targets the central nervous system or ethyl acetate a central nervous system poison and also considered harmful to the kidneys and liver?
According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) organic coffee is decaffeinated in a way that doesn't violate organic standards. Two methods are permitted that comply with federal organic standards: a SWISS WATER process, an exclusively water based decaffeination process or a non-toxic carbon dioxide (CO2) process.
In March of 2007 Consumer Reports issued a report comparing coffees at popular fast food chains ironically ranking Starbucks behind McDonalds. The publication described Starbucks coffee as, "strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open."
2) Conventional milk. Starbuck's milk comes from factory farmed cows also known as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). These poor cows are massively injected with antibiotics throughout their lifecycle, and fed an unhealthy diet of GMO feed including: corn, soy, alfalfa, and cotton seed. In fact Starbucks is a major supporter of Big Dairy.
According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) in 2011 Starbucks used over, "93 million gallons of milk per year, enough to fill 155 Olympic-sized swimming pools." Of course, Starbucks has grown since then and no doubt the milk figures have climbed.
Back in 2007 the OCA successfully pressured Starbucks to stop using Monsanto's rBGH growth hormone milk. However, Starbucks cleverly turned OCA's victory into a disingenuous advertising claim by touting the fact that "since it stopped using milk that contains Monsanto's rBGH growth hormone, it uses 'GMO-free' milk."
3) "Organic" soy milk. Don't be fooled by the word 'organic.' Research indicates that the only healthy soy that's fit for human consumption is fermented soy.
In an article titled: "Food Babe Investigates: Sabotaged at Starbucks", attention is drawn to the fact that Starbucks brand soy milk contains a questionable ingredient called carrageenan, which appears to be natural and harmless, because it's a seaweed derivative.
Yet it's reported that this substance can cause inflammation of the intestines and some sources claim it can become carcinogenic when digested.
4) Toxic baked goods. Expensive junk food sold at Starbucks may contain the following questionable ingredients:
• Nutrient devoid, refined flours • Chemically derived sugars • Cellulose gum, an indigestible wood pulp • Cheap toxic oils like soy, canola and corn • Azodicarbonamide, banned in several countries and linked to asthma • Proplyene Glycol a petro based chemical used in antifreeze, • Sodium benzoate used in their popular iced lemon pound cake.
Note: When sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid or vitamin C it transforms into a cancer-causing agent that destroys DNA in cells.
Deceptively, Starbucks food products still contain growth hormones which are reported to be carcinogen and have been linked to breast and prostate cancer and who knows what else!
About the author: Paul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com