The Girl Scouts of America have taken heat for a lot of things regarding their scrumptious little cookies. First, that they’re full of fat and calories, that they’re bad for people, that they encourage little girls to peddle unhealthy products.
Now I love a Thin Mint as much as the next person, but obviously, the word moderation should come into play here. As my sister-in-law wisely says, “One Krispy Kreme won’t make you fat. Six will.”
Anyway. Last summer, the Corn Growers posted a two-part blog series (one and two) about a Girl Scout curriculum that entirely misrepresented agriculture in general, and corn production in specific. Among many other misrepresentations and in addition to bashing traditional agriculture and HFCS, and stirring up the same old baseless accusations regarding food prices, the curriculum includes this nugget:
“When you grow only one crop, a disease or pest can wipe out your entire harvest. Therefore single-crop farmers often rely heavily on chemicals to control insects and protect crops.”
Clearly, the Girl Scouts’ educational program has been hijacked by someone with an agenda. And just unveiled this week, they’ll sell a new cookie, “Shout Outs!” that is reportedly HFCS-free. “New this year - sensibly sweet Shout Outs! are light crisp Belgian-style carmelized cookies with no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils and 0 grams trans fats,” say the Girl Scouts.
Just for comparison's sake, four Shout-outs get you 130 calories and 5 grams of fat, compared to four Thin Mints, which yield 160 calories and 8 grams of fat.
But really? Is it necessary to jump on the HFCS-free bandwagon? Or to bash agriculture in such a blatantly ignorant way? I’m not going to suggest a cookie boycott – they sell a bazillion cookies so let’s be real about impact here – but I think it’s always a good idea to share what you do and why you do it, and why some of their information is incorrect. Check out the Corn Grower’s post above, and then contact the Girl Scouts on their official Facebook cookie page or by emailing here. If you need a few HFCS facts, take a look at both pages (8 and 9) of Josh's excellent HFCS story, from our December issue.
And remember, the best letter is a simple, to-the-point and respectful. And we are nothing in agriculture if not simple, to-the-point and respectful. Tell your story!