Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Who’s afraid of a little PSL?



Last week the “Food Babe” made headlines again. Not about the edible yoga mats; this time she’s discovered the dark caramel truth about Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. The headline read: You’ll Never Guess What’s In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (Hint: You Won’t Be Happy). Ooh, I thought to myself, what could it be? Probably bugs. It had to be something nasty to incur such a sensational headline. I took the bait, I clicked on the link. Even though I don’t even like pumpkin spice lattes the suspense was just too much for me, I had to know. Turns out, it’s caramel colouring and high-fructose corn syrup (probably, as the nutrition information the Babe obtained was conflicting) as well as “Monsanto” milk (Canadians and Europeans you can ignore that part). Ummm… I could have guessed that.

I’m not saying that these are good ingredients to be ingesting, but I’m certainly not surprised that they’re in pumpkin spice syrup. I was even less surprised to learn that pumpkin is not one of the ingredients. Did anyone actually think that Starbucks used pumpkin spice syrup that contained actual pumpkin?? By the name alone, it implies that it’s the spices used in many pumpkin goods, not pumpkin itself. Would anyone be surprised to learn that the apple, blackberry, orange, or any other fruity-flavoured syrup didn’t contain any of those fruits? Frankly, I’d be surprised if they did contain actual fruit.

Yes, Starbucks PSL is not a health beverage. It’s a liquid dessert.


Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

6 thoughts on “Who’s afraid of a little PSL?

  1. Shock horror! Love how you are ‘keeping it real’ Madame BMW.


  2. I fell for the click bait too! I want my page view back.


  3. I always just assumed they squeezed a pumpkin into a bottle!


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