Rethought: Girl Scout cookies.

girlscoutsThere’s a light knock at your door. Looking through the peep hole you see it’s a Girl Scout. Opening the door, the young lass presents you with a list of cookies for sale. Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-si-dos, all the favorites right there for sale.

When these young ladies sell cookies they’re gaining life skills. One of which is “business ethics,” claims the Girl Scouts of the USA, the national governing body of Girl Scouts. But what ethics are gained when these unsuspecting children sell us these fat and sugar laden, artificially flavored junk food.

Call me old school, but isn’t business ethics doing what’s morally appropriate for your business and the consumer? Obesity is at an epidemic height, diabetes, heart disease, the same. These diseases have an association with the little box of sugary delights we buy from our neighborhood Girl Scouts.

Obviously, I know it’s not the girls’ fault, and I know cookies were never intended to be a healthy option. But their leadership is failing them and selling us processed garbage.

Take a box of samoas for example. Just one serving, which is only two cookies, contains 140 calories, 5 grams of saturated fat, 25 percent of your suggested daily value. Not to mention hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors, chemicals really. And, mind you, who is going to eat just two. More like two in a sitting at least twice a day.

Circling back to business ethics, in my opinion, that would be educating our girls about the unhealthy lifestyle many Americans lead. And then selling products that would help alleviate the problem while still making a profit.

It may seem boring compared to cookies, but how about selling green tea. Studies have shown green tea can help lower cholesterol, lower high blood pressure and stabalizes blood sugar in diabetics. Not the saving grace we really need, but certainly better than a box of Tagalongs.

Looking back though, Girl Scouts have traditionally sold cookies. They just weren’t processed the way they are today. In 1917 the first Girl Scout cookie sale was organized by the Mistletoe Troop at their local high school in Oklahoma. These girls baked their own fresh cookies and sold them locally. The sweets were not made by a third party, subsidiary of a giant corporation, using GMO ingredients like they are today.

If the Girl Scouts of the USA really checked, they would find this is what the market is demanding, local, handmade goods. If each troop got together and held a homemade baked goods sale, they would probably make more of a profit, selling one nice size cookie for a $1.50, while a box of their corporate cookies costs $4.

Plus, there would be family time in the kitchen, the young ladies would see that you don’t have to depend on a corporation to provide you with food. And if consumers were only buying individual cookies they would inevitably buy less, therefore, not consuming as much junk food.

The Girl Scouts, a group that strives to make a difference in everyone’s life. They have the potential to make a huge impact, the only question is when.


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