Sunday, March 8, 2009

Girl's Scout Cookies: The Craze, The Dilemma and The Verdict

March is back and I feel assaulted every time I go for groceries. Right outside the main entrance of my local Giant’s, weekend after weekend, high-pitched little Girl Scouts try their hardest to convince me and the other weekend shoppers to buy their cookies…or else!

It’s not that I do not like Girl Scouts, I was one once three decades ago, albeit for one year only: the pack mentality did not work for me. It’s not that I do not like cookies: I do, but they have to be home-made, so that I know exactly what’s in them. Of course, as a full-time working mother, my cookie-making talent is only put to good use once a year, from November to January, when I become a first-class cookie warrior. My cookies are given to friends and family alike, along with home-made winter jams, and other sweet or savory “friandises”. Gift-giving means also time and thought-giving. My baking craze of the end of the year is often the time when I reminisce of the good times I’ve had with the persons for whom I bake, which makes them even dearer to me.

So what about the Girl’s Scout cookies? I do not want to sound like a party pooper. I do not want to be the mean middle-aged mother nor the bitter bad-mouthing bat. Nevertheless, I cannot condone Girl’s Scout Cookies. I looked at the nutrition facts from the bakers’ web sites: and .

The “healthiest” Little Brownie-baked cookie is not the sugar free Chocolate Chips as advertised: one serving of this “sugar free” cookie is 3 cookies, 160 calories with 80 calories from fat, 0 sugar but a total carbohydrate of 22g with sugar alcohol 7g. It is also indicated that “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect”. Does this mean that a healthy cookie has to be a diarrhea-inducing cookie?

On the other hand, the serving of the seemingly not healthy Trefoils cookie is 5 cookies, a total of 170 calories with 70 calories from fat, 7 g of sugar for a total of carbohydrate of 23g, but no sugar alcohol. Who eats up to 5 cookies anyway? To my mind, the healthiest cookie will be the Trefoils…

As for the ABCcookies, their new Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds cookies serving claim 100 calories per serving, 20 cal from fat, a total carbohydrate of 19g with 8 g sugar, but they use the addictive high fructose corn syrup, most likely more than 2%, since all of the others say less than 2%. I am curious… Amongst the ABCcookies less healthy cookies, such favorites as Peanut Butter Patties, Thanks-A-Lot and Lemonades, with a serving of 2 cookies for 150 calories, between 60 and 70 calories from fat, and a total carbohydrate between 17 and 19g, out of which the sugar is between 9 and 10g.
The healthiest ABCcookies-produced cookie appears to be the Shortbread, with a serving of 4 cookies for 120 calories, and only 40 calories from fat, and 4g of sugar for a total carbohydrate of 19g.

Let’s not even mention the decadent new cookie, called Dulce de Leche, produced by the Little Brownie bakery: with 3 cookies for 200 calories, 90 calories from fat, 25 g of total carbohydrate out of which 11 g of sugar…

Am I being guilty of fierce cookie-nutrition-facts inquisition? Am I leading a crusade against the Girl’s Scout Cookies? There must be better ways to raise money than to always rely of bake sales, cookie sales, etc… Food as a treat is no treat at all but a dangerous weapon: a legal form of drug.

Am I guilty of remaining silent? The high-pitched voices are still ringing in my ears, and will do so until the last weekend of March: “Help raise money for the Girls’ Scouts! Buy Girls’ Scouts cookies! If you do not want to buy them for you, buy them and donate them!”

Would the new perfect murder weapon be the Girl’s Scout Cookie! Let the others’ arteries clog! Why would I buy for others what I deem not worthy for myself?