Blogger's Bout: Girl Scout Cookies, Pro & Con
From Miami New Times Editor Chuck Strouse:
I hate Girl Scout cookies. They started just as the first World War ended in Muskogee Oklahoma. That's right, the year of the Russian Revolution, they were peddled in a high school cafeteria. That was just five years after the Girl Scouts themselves got going. The organization is built on the hustle.
Soon GSA will be a century old. And they began contracting with commercial bakers in 1936, which may be why so many of the brands began to taste like they had been around for years.
Why do I hate em? Let's start with nutrition: According to caloriecount.com, most get Ds and Fs as grades. Take the so-called caramel delights -- 70 calories each, half from fat. Or the reduced fat chocolate chips....better at 33 calories each, but half of 'em come from fat.
Another problem is history. The Girl Scouts were started in Savannah,
Georgia as a whites only group. Segregated black troops were later
started up. Of course today, there are many integrated groups around
the world, but that early damn racist history eats at me.
there's the money. By some estimates, the scouts earn $700 million in
revenues off 'em. While most goes to local troops, those commercial
bakers rake in 83 cents per package.
Not long ago, the NY Times
Nick Kristof penned a column complaining about "little girls intent on
clogging your arteries and killing you with their sweetness." I second
that emotion. Indeed, I'm boycotting this year.
From Miami New Times Minion Lee Klein:
Picking on poor, helpless little Girl Scouts for selling fattening cookies? I am shocked, appalled, and personally offended.
After all, as a young lad, yours truly shilled fattening cookies door
to door -- not as a Girl Scout but as a Jew, selling macaroons as part
of a Hebrew school drive for the same green paper that sends millions
of Girl Scouts out into the streets. I can still recall the pride I
felt for moving more boxes than anyone else and copping a pair of
cufflinks as top prize. Just for the record, there is absolutely
nothing on God's earth that is less useful to an eight year old kid
But I digress. First, let me set your mind at ease regarding the racist history. According to the Girl Scouts website, "Our
first troop for African American girls was formed in 1917, 47 years
before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, and by the 1950s, GSUSA
began a national effort to desegregate all Girl Scout troops. Not long
after, in 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. described Girl Scouts as 'a force
Granted, they're putting a nice face on things. But while the Girl
Scouts were later to the equality party than we would have liked, they
were solidly on board by the 1950s, which is more than most American
corporations can say.
And they brought those cookies with them, which perks up any party.
Healthy? Absolutely not. But cookies should be viewed as a luxury, as a
reward for maintaining an otherwise nutritious diet. Pass up the dinner
rolls and can of coke. Then enjoy the Thin Mints. And Samoas. And
Do-Si-Dos. Heck, that's three good reasons to support the Girl Scouts
and their cookie drive right there.
Finally, I don't deny that it is sad the Girl Scouts don't bake the 200
million boxes of cookies by themselves. It's likewise a pity that the
Keebler Elves don't really bake all those Keebler Cookies. Seriously
though, I don't doubt that the quality has gone down over the years -- what hasn't? At this point, we should just be thankful
the cookie-making process isn't being shipped out to China.
And so, in summation: God bless America, God bless cookies, and God bless the Girl Scouts. I rest my case.
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