Starbucks Gets Real - Real Food for a Healthy Planet 1

Starbucks is giving their top selling Pumpkin Spice Latte a makeover this fall, marking a positive change for the environment. The coffee giant is updating their recipe to include real pumpkin, and they’re making other changes too, like eliminating the artificial caramel coloring from their drinks. The change comes as part of the growing real food movement and bodes well for both our health and the environment.

We’ve started to hit the tipping point where growing pressure from consumers is finally pushing large food companies to make positive changes. Along with Starbucks, chains like Panera and Chipotle are all taking steps to cut artificial and genetically altered ingredients.

Consumer demand is changing, and it’s about time. While many conscious individuals have been concerned about artificial foods and their impact on the environment and the growing obesity crisis in the United States, we’re finally reaching a point where the mass market is finally demanding change. There is a real shift taking place. Customers want to know exactly what ingredients are really being used in their beverages and food.

So far the shift might not seem big enough; one small scoop of pumpkin puree isn’t enough to change the world. But the growing consciousness and trend and towards real food is here to stay. As consumer demand increases, these large companies are being forced to make changes in order to remain competitive.

You can make a difference by shopping with your dollar. When eating out, choose restaurants that are making positive changes and order the healthier menu items to show that there is demand for these items. At the grocery store, buy real food. I just read a great quote yesterday that went something like: “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” That sums it up quite nicely! Read ingredient lists and if it’s not a real, whole food, or if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, or if the ingredient list is very long, it’s probably not something you really want to buy.

Whether you’re a Pumpkin Spiced Latte drinker or not, and whether a scoop of real pumpkin puree is too little too late, I’d like to believe that these changes will make a difference. Slowly but surely, the energy and thought that many of us put into the environment is having an impact. Let’s just hope that changes like these continue on the rise, and that we can build enough momentum now that the next generation won’t have to deal with quite so many issues. Let’s hope.

Jennie LyonJennie Lyon is a green lifestyle writer and the owner of Sweet Greens, the award-winning green lifestyle blog. She posts on simple, fun ways families can go green together – starting with her own. When she isn’t blogging, you will find her paddleboarding, sailing, beach-combing, camping, or spending time with her amazing husband and 14-year old son.

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