Good Cause?

By Dean L. Jones

From co-workers, door solicitors, to lawn signs―the Girl Scout Cookies’ selling season is here again.  Annually, around the country Girl Scouts encourage as many people as possible to spend money on cookies.

The Girl Scout organization appears transparent that they are selling cookies for a good cause.  Nonetheless, you cannot help but wonder just how much is a good cause and how much is simply another ploy for making money from people’s sugar weakness.

The general sales pitch is that every time you buy a box, you help girls learn 5 essential skills.  Much needed skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, social interaction, and business ethics.

The Girl Scout cookies are exclusively made by two licensed bakers; ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers.  These companies use a variety of ingredients in the production of Girl Scout cookies, where ABC Bakers still uses high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in some cookies.  Both companies have genetically modified agricultural crops (GMOs) as ingredients.

The management of Girl Scout cookie sales have a small cloud surrounding health issues by reporting claims, such as “According to the American Dietetic Association, most people with diabetes can enjoy sugars in moderation as a part of their meal plans, depending on blood glucose control and body weight.  We encourage consumers who are concerned about sugar intake to discuss dietary options with a doctor or registered dietitian.”

Feeling the need to impart statements like this one shows how the processed sugar issue is real and organizations are consistently seeking ways to keep making money, in spite of the health risks it may cause others.  Whenever you find yourself needing to make a disclaimer surrounding health, maybe what was once a good cause has shifted itself into being an uncalled for cause.

Clearly, Girl Scout cookie package labeling displays the amount of added sugar and carbohydrates, particularly enabling people with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes to make informed choices.  Still, there are plenty of careers that can be nurtured through better experiences than that of selling potentially harmful human treats.  Can you imagine the public outcry against an organization like the Girl Scouts if it were selling treats that potentially harmed animals, like dog and/or cat pets?

For the record, the Girl Scouts’ Thanks-A-Lot shortbread cookies (serving size 2 cookies) is 11-grams of sugar.  Cranberry Citrus Crisps (serving size 4 cookies) is 10-grams of sugar.  Lemonades are 10-grams of sugar (serving size 2 cookies).  A serving size of 4 Thin Mints crispy chocolate wafers has 11-grams of sugar.  Caramel Delites (serving size 2 cookies) is 11-grams of sugar, and the Peanut Butter Sandwich serving size of 3 cookies has 8-grams of sugar.  Which is less than the Do-si-dos, a crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookie with creamy peanut butter filling (serving size 3 cookies) having 11-grams of sugar.  [Source:]
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.