When You're Lactose Intolerant, Going Out For Coffee Can Actually Be Dangerous

Photographed by Jackie Alpers.
As much as Starbucks gets roasted for employees who often misspell even the simplest of names or for catering to people who want overly complicated and fancy drinks, the coffee chain is usually a safe haven for those in need of caffeine or even just a space to chill out and charge their phone and use the bathroom (hey, we've all done it.)
Still, going out for coffee at Starbucks or any other place where someone else is making your drink can actually be dangerous for anyone with a milk sensitivity — as one guy made abundantly clear in a review for the chain, claiming that a milk mixup caused him to poop 11 times in one day.
Demit Strato left a comment on Starbucks's Facebook page yesterday, saying that getting a venti iced coffee left him extremely uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
"This is the second time I ordered a Venti Iced Coffe [sic] with Soy Milk this month where the Soy Milk request was ignored and regular milk was instead used," he wrote. "I've pooped 11 times since the A.M. My bottom hurts from all the wiping. Do you think I enjoy soy milk? Does anyone enjoy soy milk? Really? I don't order soy mill [sic] because I'm bored and want my drink order to sound fancy. I order soy milk so that my bottom doesnt blast fire for 4 hours. I'm not a Charmander. Thank you for listening to my rant.
P.S. I'm writing this from the comfort OF MY TOILET."
While many people find his rant funny — there are plenty of crying, laughing emoji faces left in the comments — his post actually speaks to something people with lactose intolerance or other milk sensitivities know all too well: Going out for coffee can be pretty risky.
The milk mixup — intentional or not — could have happened at any coffee chain due to employees that aren't paying attention, forget that someone asked for soy, or even intentionally use regular milk because they thought their customer was annoying.
The latter is a real problem people with milk sensitivities have countered when diabolical baristas pop up on social media to say that they mess with people's drinks this way.
Years ago, someone posted to Reddit about a barista who decided to get back at an "annoying" skinny white girl who asked for soy milk in her drink by using whole fat milk instead. The comments section went off, not only because this barista had a responsibility to give people what they order, but because that simple change could have caused this girl the same discomfort as Strato if she was also lactose intolerant.
We can't know for sure that Strato's barista chose to give him regular milk even though he asked for soy. It could easily have been a mistake. But his post makes one thing clear: If you have lactose intolerance, it's totally okay (and not annoying at all) to make sure whoever makes your coffee is using the right kind of milk.
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