April 3, 2014
Girl Scout Cookies Under Attack by Food Nazis
Is nothing sacred anymore? NPR called out the late winter/early spring tradition that is Girl Scout cookies. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that are sold for only a limited amount of time and often eaten in bulk.
It isn’t just that NPR is questioning the content of the cookies, it actually noted, “a few brave voices argue it’s no longer all that delightful to see little girls peddling packaged cookies, or to buy them in the name of supporting the community.”
Let’s review that again, “a few brave voices,” which apparently Dr. John Mandoria, who in his blog suggested, “Dear Girl Scouts: It’s time to cut out the cookies,” or Diane L. Hartman who offered an op-ed for the Denver Post titled, “Why are we letting Girl Scouts sell these fattening cookies?”
Hartman, a writer for the paper, offered this thought:
“America is drowning in obesity. Nobody wants to talk about this part of the Girl Scout cookie craze. Take Thin Mints, which account for 25 percent of the sales (and those sales are over $200 million). If you eat four of the tiny things, which no human has ever done, you get 160 calories. The saturated fat in them is 25 percent. They have some trans fat, some palm oil and are high carb … all those things you’ve probably been trying to avoid.”
Now as someone who hasn’t eaten Girl Scout cookies in ages – and truth is I can’t remember when the last was, but it is at least a decade, maybe longer – I question the point she’s trying to make in “all those things you’ve probably been trying to avoid.”
Even the Girl Scouts noted that these are a snack treat, not a main course, and are “intended to be enjoyed in moderation.”
However, that concept of moderation is something “food Nazis” hate because for some reason food is something that these people don’t think we can handle in moderation.
Now NPR noted that the Hartman and Mandrola took some flak from their respective readers, and the story pointed out that “Cookie revenue (65 to 75 percent of the cookie retail price), of course, goes to local Girl Scout councils, which typically spend it on Girl Scout activities, camps and properties.”
Yet, it still seems that when it comes to food, those with the loudest voices cite obesity, public health and simply the fact that the food isn’t really good for you. That’s enough for these food Nazis to call for a ban. Have they not read how that worked with prohibition in the 1920s with alcohol? Have they not seen movies, or at least HBO’s Boardwalk Empire?
It is a lot easier to bake up some cookies at home than it is to make bathtub gin! So prohibition isn’t going to work anymore than it did with alcohol; but perhaps that is why the food Nazi types aren’t exactly calling for a ban – instead they’re playing the guilt card over and over.
Something tells me that Hartmand, Mandrola, Michelle Obama, Michael Bloomberg and others would all say that food bans are intended to make people healthier and reduce medical costs. It is a good intention, of course, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the saying goes. There is another saying, “life is short.” Do you really want to spend it eating foods you don’t like?
What is worse is that with these good intentions, choice is lost. It should be my choice to eat a box of cookies if I want to, right?
However, as I noted, I haven’t eaten Girl Scout cookies in year. I also don’t eat a lot of snack food in general. I work out, I try to get enough sleep, I eat right and I am typically a huge ball of anger and stress. The latter two surely aren’t good for me, but someday I expect to see stress and anger banned in the name of public health as well. We’ll just have to wait and see how that works out.
Image Credit: Girl Scouts of the United States of America