As many of us will indulge in all things pumpkin this fall (including flavored coffee), you should be aware that there's nothing pumpkin about that pumpkin spice latte that you've been drinking -- it's all artificial.
Let's face it, if there were actual pumpkin added to our coffee, it would taste pretty horrific. So, in order to make it tasty (and potentially toxic), artificial flavors are added.
Starbucks has come under fire recently regarding their infamous pumpkin latte beverage, which apparently contains ingredients such as petroleum (artificial flavoring), caramel color class IV (also known as 4-methylimidazole), potassium sorbate, carrageenan, etc. The only ingredients in this latte favorite that even resemble flavors of fall is a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove... and sulfites. OK, well, we almost had something there.
So maybe you want to skip the pumpkin spice latte altogether and drink regular flavored coffee instead? Well, there are chemicals in those flavored coffee beans as well: propylene glycol, ethyl alcohol, dimethylamine-D1, and formamidinium acetate just to name a few -- add here we've been worrying about the amount of caffeine found in coffee beverages. I never thought I'd need a hazmat suit to enjoy my morning cup of Joe.
Unfortunately, many of these chemical compounds that have been deemed as "safe" by the FDA are found in several other food and beverage (especially sodas) products as well -- not just at Starbucks. This may be a concern considering an ingredient such as "caramel coloring" has basically been labeled as a carcinogen -- but the jury is still out on this one.
I love spiced lattes just as much as the next person, but I've been making my own version at home for quite some time now: good espresso, skim milk, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and stevia. Here are a few other healthy alternatives to help jazz up your java:
If you can't be bothered with all of the fluff surrounding pumpkin spice lattes, try a Turkish coffee -- that'll sure put a little hair on your chest.