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Girl Scout Cookies: Sugar, God + Questionable Math Skills

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Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 9:11 AM
click to enlarge Girl Scout cookie - FLICKR/FAMILY O'ABÉ

It's Girl Scout Cookie season again, and in offices across America, helpful parents will be hawking cookies to their co-workers. Come March, you'll see the girls themselves embedded in front of local shopping centers pitching their wares.

Those Thin Mints are as tasty as the girls are adorable. But before you fork over four bucks to the little darlings, be informed: it's not all as sweet as it seems. Sure, they don't have that whole officially sanctioned homophobia thing that the Boy Scouts do, but there are a few interesting facts to consider.

Girl Scouts are top-heavy:

Out of every $4.00 box sold, the troop each troop only gets 75 cents, with the lion's share going to national organization overhead. Put another way, this is like buying a whole box of Samoas but only letting the girl you got it from have 2.8 cookies.

"Limited Time" isn't as limited as they say:

Several favorite Girl Scout cookies are actually available year-round -- albeit under different names and with minor variations, but made by the exact same bakeries. Intrepid reporters at Lifehacker revealed that Thin Mints are just Keebler Grasshoppers, Samoas are sold as Keebler Coconut Dreams, and a reasonable fascimile of Tagalongs can be found in Keebler Fudge Shoppe Peanut Butter Filled -- and all cost half what the Scout versions do.

The Economics:

Girl Scouts describe the cookie-selling experience as a valuable lesson in entrepreneurship for the girls, but to really fall for that line, your little CEO would have to have (1) poor math skills and (2) no Internet access. A quick google search reveals that at WalMart you can get buy Keebler Grasshoppers for $2.64 per box, including shipping, and it's a 10-ounce box. By contrast, Girl Scout Thin Mints come in a 9-ounce box that sells for $4.00.

Just buying the Grasshoppers at retail and selling those for the same price would yield nearly twice the profit, which could fund a swell trip to Camp Lakota.

Even if you love the girls as much as the cookies, it still makes more economic sense to just give the troop a direct donation and buy the cookies at the store.

click to enlarge smallYouDeserveToKnowWhatGirlScoutCookiesFund.jpg

The Politics:

Conservative Christian groups have posted online lists of reasons why good Christians should never buy Girl Scout cookies. Among them: "Girl Scouts partner locally, nationally and internationally with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortionist in the world." Sites also make use of the terms "homo-punk" and "pro-lesbian agenda."

Because individual troops or councils are free to make partnerships with community organizations -- which might Planned Parenthood (or might include a local Christian organization) -- the Girl Scouts have been accused of untold ungodly evil.

Seems that everything connected to Scouting can give you the gay, one way or another, whether it's Boy Scout child molesters or Girl Scout cookie pushers and their hidden transgender agenda (G.S.U.S.A. has agreed to let transgendered children living as girls join troops).

A read through of sites like LifeSiteNews, HonestGirlScouts.com, or 100QuestionsForTheGirlScouts.org, all of which are rife with factual inaccuracies, will probably make you want to ignore the entire economic issue outlined above and just buy twice as many cookies.

click to enlarge A "serving" of Samoas (left) is only two cookies, but for Trefoils, it's five. - L.J. WILLIAMSON
  • L.J. Williamson
  • A "serving" of Samoas (left) is only two cookies, but for Trefoils, it's five.

The Calories:

In an era of childhood obesity statistics that have swollen like Violet Beauregarde, many have a bone to pick with the whole concept of cookie pushing for kids.

Everyone knows that cookies aren't health food, but that doesn't stop the Girl Scouts from fudging the numbers a bit. Although at first glance it might seem as if a serving of any variety of Girl Scout cookie is around 150 calories, a closer look reveals a huge disparity in what constitutes a "serving." Lemony Savannah Smiles and Trefoils let you have five cookies, and the Thin Mints box says you can have four. But Nutter-Butter-like Do-si-dos stops you at three cookies, and peanut-buttery Tagalongs and coconutty Samoas call the serving serving size a delusional, stingy, preposterous two cookies.

Um, are you high?

Of course you're not, because if you were, you would eat the whole damn box.

And in related news:

- Happy National Girl Scout Cookie Day: There's an App for That

- Girl Scout Cookie Locator App: Find Cookies, Find Yourself


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