Question: What is Carmine or Cochineal?
Where do carmine or cochineal come from, and why do vegans and vegetarians avoid it?
Answer: Carmine, or cochineal, is a red coloring that comes from the female cochineal beetle. The coloring comes from carminic acid in beetles who are killed, dried and crushed to extract the acid. Carmine is used as a coloring in products such as candies, juice drinks, and beauty products. It can be difficult to spot in products, as it sometimes is listed as "natural coloring."