Columns, Opinion

HOFBERG: Girl Scout Cookies

Someone please explain to me America’s obsession with the world’s most mediocre tasting cookies, otherwise known as Girl Scout cookies, because I just cannot figure it out.

The annual Girl Scout cookie sale is a 100-year-old tradition that shows no signs of slowing. In fact, Girl Scout cookies have become an icon of American culture. However, it seems that the Girl Scouts aren’t so much concerned with the quality of their product, but rather they are concerned with increasing sales, turning profits and setting records with numbers of boxes sold.

Purchasing a box of Peanut Butter Patties is not only a way to accumulate inches on your midsection, but also, according to the Girl Scout organization, an opportunity to teach young girls about money management, business ethics, decision making, people skills and goal setting. Call me crazy, but there has got to be a more health conscious way to instill these, admittedly, valuable skills in our youth.

Fortunately for me, my distaste for these nauseating excuses for baked goods makes it easy for me to refuse boxes from Girl Scouts that seem to be looming on every corner. Sorry little girl, I don’t care how close you are to reaching your goal of selling 750 boxes of cookies this year. Your product is wretched and my taste buds are beyond uninterested.

Last year, 2.3 million Girl Scouts sold more than 200 million boxes of cookies and generated more than $780 million dollars for the organization whose mission it is to “… build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”

Make the world a better place? I’m sorry but I don’t understand how contributing to the obesity epidemic of this country with yearly, record-breaking cookie sales is working toward society’s betterment. On the Girl Scout’s own official website, you can read for yourself a list of fun facts about the disturbing trends of youth health behaviors that, I promise you, are not improving with mass consumption of Thin Mints and Samoas — excuse me, Caramel de Lites. According to the Girl Scout website, more than 10 percent of children between the ages of two and five are overweight, double the amount since 1980. In my opinion, if the Girl Scouts were truly dedicated to the mission of contributing to the improvement of society, they might consider selling gold star-shaped diet pills instead.

Snacks like apples and peanut butter or carrots and celery used to be a reasonable, health conscious way to fuel our bodies with vitamins and nutrients.

However, these days, unless it’s saturated in sugar, deep-fried or drenched in salt, no longer do healthy snack options seem to suffice in satisfying our corpulent appetites. Just two Samoa cookies contain 150 calories! That’s 7 percent of the average person’s daily caloric intake in four bites, and I’m willing to bet that Girl Scout cookie enthusiasts aren’t just snacking on two cookies per sitting.

In a day in age where, unfortunately, obesity is on the rise, it’s not only the nutritional value of the baked goods that pose a threat to the well-being of healthy societies that horrifies me, but also the 7-11-esque flavor profile of the cookies. Can someone please explain to me the appeal of the Lemonade Girl Scout cookie? It’s a sad excuse for a sweet treat for the amateur cookie eater. It’s a smear of tangy, lemon icing sandwiched between two shortbread cookies that coats your mouth with a stale, over-sweetened taste of artificiality with each bite. There’s a reason the cookies are seasonal. It’s because they’re god-awful.

Or how about the Thin Mints? The round, mint-flavored cookie with chocolate coating, which is by far the most popular Girl Scout cookie, accounting for 25 percent of national cookies sales. I just don’t get it. What is it about the Thin Mints that make them such a popular treat? For the life of me, I cannot figure out the people’s fascination with the disgusting, waxy cookie that tastes like chocolate toothpaste. And let me tell you, freezing them does not make them any more delicious.

To those of you that think you are doing your hips a favor by choosing Thin Mints over other Girl Scout cookie options, I am sorry to say, that you are living your life in denial. Some people believe that the Thin Mint isn’t as fattening as some of the other Girl Scout cookies, but actually, I am certain that there will be nothing thin about you after you pound a box of them.

So, wise up America. The next time you’re thinking about devouring an entire box of Peanut Butter Patties or Do-Si-Do’s, you might want to step on the scale and think twice about the astronomical amount of calories you’re about to consume. Chances are, your love handles don’t need any more love.

Kate Hofberg is a graduate student in the College of Communication. She can be reached at [email protected].

No Comments

  1. This is a joke, right? I’ve never heard anyone speak such blasphemy. Is there anyone else out there who would describe Girl Scout cookies as mediocre? I’m not normally one to troll comment sections, but when you take a shot at Girl Scout cookies, you take a shot at America IMO.

  2. Its too bad that girl scout cookies don’t relate to you. The thin mints are the most popular, and they are the ones we order year after year.

    Chances are you have never been a Girl Scout.

  3. Kate, I think your point is off. I have three daughters that are, or have been in Girl Scouts. Saying that cookies are a cause with obesity is not accurate. Not eating cookies, chips, fries, all food without moderation is causing obesity.

    Write the fact that for each box sold, .35 cents, goes to the Girl Scouts. I would, and have just written a check to my daughters troop for $50.00. Write that if you are so concerned so must. “If you want to help, don’t buy cookies. Write a check to GSA…and they keep 100% of your donation…and its tax deductible”. After all, they are a 501(c)(3)…