Red ‘n black Beetle

Red 'n black Beetle
Seeing this iconic South African-student car, the VW Beetle, reminded me of a conversation that I had with a friend about the brownish-red Cochineal beetle.

The Cochineal beetle is a beetle farmed in South America and used to produce a natural red dye. For me the depressing thing about the use of the beetle as a colourant isn't as much that they die, it's more how they're killed. I won't go into the detail here, but read the article if you're interested to know. We humans really don't play nice some times.

For reference, manufacturers use the names "cochineal extract", "carmine", "crimson lake", "natural red 4", "C.I. 75470", "E120" to indicate that this beetle was used in the production of their red soft drinks, sweets, or makeup.

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