By Jenna Perlman, Staff Writer

If you haven't had your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season yet, are you really living?/PHOTO BY Jenna Perlman

If you haven’t had your first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season yet, are you really living?/PHOTO BY Jenna Perlman

Mmm, the start of fall means it’s prime time to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte — or as some like to call it, God’s gift to mankind. It pairs perfectly with light sweaters, UGG boots and instagrams of leaves (or as I like to cleverly call them, leafograms). But what’s really in this delicious drink? And how does whatever’s in it affect our bodies?

Starbucks’ signature fall drink contains four main components: espresso, pumpkin spice flavored syrup, whipped cream, and pumpkin spice toppings. The espresso ingredients are straightforward: water and brewed coffee. However, each of the other three components contain high levels of high fructose corn syrup, milk, sugar and tons and tons of “natural and artificial flavors,” preservatives and colorings. The pumpkin spice toppings include cinnamon, ginger and sulfites (whatever the hell that is…).

As for the dairy portion, the milk is called “monsanto milk,” taken from cows that have been fed genetically modified corn and injected with hormones. Their milk is treated with antibiotics to keep it “clean.” In addition to the inhumane treatment of animals, it also isn’t treating your body well, for the milk could be toxic and lethal to your body.

After reading this elaborate list of ingredients, you might be thinking, “Hey wait, if this is a Pumpkin Spice Latte, where’s the pumpkin?” Trick question — there is none!

That’s pretty messed up, isn’t it? How ironic.

As for its effects on the body, from a nutrition standpoint, the drink contains 380 calories, as well as 20% of the daily fat intake and a whopping 49 grams of sugar.

According to American physician and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Mark Hyman, high levels of high fructose corn syrup and the 49 grams of sugar increase your risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems. If that’s not bad enough, the high fructose corn syrup contains mercury, something not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, despite the fact that it has been proven to destroy your stomach and intestinal lining.

So next time, when you’re on your way to do a little PSL lovin’, be cautious. Consuming an extreme amount of these delicious drinks can make you sick and overweight. And that takes all the fun out of fall, doesn’t it?