Are Girl Scout Cookies Socially Irresponsible?February 15th, 2011 | 17 Comments
Somebody’s gotta say it.
Every year, I wonder why no one ever blogs about this. Maybe it’s because the Girl Scouts are as American as apple pie. Or maybe it’s because supporting our local scout troop has become an annual pastime. It warms our hearts.
Even I make my yearly donation or two in front of Trader Joe’s or at my local Farmer’s Market. But there’s something unique about my yearly contribution that typically leaves a bewildered look on the Scout Mom’s face.
I tell her to keep the cookies.
As yummy as those coconutty (is that a word?) Samoas are, at some point I actually took the time to read the ingredients.
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (aka “trans fats”).
Corn syrup (sugar).
Condensed milk (condensed milk with more sugar).
Dextrose (more sugar).
Now, I’m not saying that one box will kill you. That would be a bit overly dramatic. But I can think of 50 healthier, more responsible ways for Girl Scouts to learn “financial skills such as goal setting, decision-making, customer service, and money management” than to sell cookies with ingredients that are known to contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
I just find it backwards that we condemn food manufacturers for using these very same ingredients while giving the Girl Scouts a free ride.
One of the tactics that Big Food uses to mitigate the damage they do is run public relations campaigns in order to appear socially responsible. The Scouts are no exception. Just a few days ago, a press release was posted to the Girl Scouts website regarding a town hall meeting in which “Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Kraft Foods’ President of Global Health and Wellness and Sustainability, Rhonda Jordan, CEO of Girls Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, Lidia Soto-Harmon and hundreds of Girl Scouts joined together to demonstrate how today’s girls are making healthy choices and incorporating physical activity into their daily lives”.
I wonder if they served cookies.
Supporting your local troop is more about contributing your dollars and less about Samoas. Donate generously. It’s a great cause.
Just tell them to keep the cookies.
Keep the Cookies!