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There's no pumpkin in Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks has sold more than 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes since 2003, and no doubt hopes to sell many more starting, well, this week.

(Officially, the "hysteria" starts next week but a Tumblr page has an easy riddle ... think initials ... to "unlock" the way to order early: You simply say "First PSL" to a barrista.)

But guess what's NOT in a Pumpkin Spice Latte.


That's according to the Food Babe, a popular blog about nutrition, and a report in USA Today.

It's not just that people read too much into "Pumpkin Spice," and mistakenly expect more than "warm seasonal spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove." Past Starbucks descriptions have mentioned "creamy pumpkin flavored sauce," and a blurb for the iced version says, "Sweet pumpkin and the spices of fall play deliciously with the chill of fresh milk and luscious, sweetened whipped cream."

Vani Hari, the Food Babe, is more concerned with what is in Pumpkin Spice Lattes (like caramel coloring "made with ammonia and considered a carcinogen" and "toxic dose of sugar," according to her chart), and why Starbucks fails to fully disclose the ingredients of its beverages.

"Starbucks is a very expensive product," and people have a right to know what they're drinking, Hari said by phone.

"We're working on listing core beverage recipes online via and hope to have an update in the near future," Starbucks spokeswoman Lisa Passe told USA Today.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or Follow @petemucha on Twitter.