I have a confession - I like Girl Scout cookies. Part of it is nostalgia, from my own days in Brownies and Girl Scouts, nervous and excited as I went door to door, hoping to sell a certain amount to get a prize. Most people were very nice about it, and usually ordered at least one box. After all, who wants to refuse a cute little girl with pigtails and a hopeful smile? I want to offer the same support to my cousins who’ve sold through the years, and the adorable young daughters of co-workers (even if they don’t come to my door).
And the cookies taste good. While I’m still a bit annoyed about the newer names (Peanut Butter Patties - really?), I still like the taste. Yes, I know they’re processed foods. Yes, I know they have lots of sugar and some have high fructose corn syrup. I also know that you can make healthier versions of some of them, such as this recipe for All-Natural Thin Mints that I want to try.
For some people, these are reasons not to buy the cookies, and I can understand that. What I have a harder time with is the recent suggestion that we should all boycott buying Girl Scout cookies. Why? Not because of the cookies themselves, but because Girl Scouts accepted a transgendered child into a troop.
This bothers me because those proposing it are using food to deliberately hurt people who were inclusive and caring.
Food, in my mind, is not something that should ever be used as a weapon or to wound. Rather, it should be used to nourish, nurture, and heal us.
But more than that, my concern is the impact on what IIN considers primary foods, among them relationships. If we use our energy - the energy we get from food - to foster fear and exclusion, that can shape the way we interact with the rest of the world and each other. With all the anger and hurt and sorrow already present, I do not want to be the sort of person who adds more.
My choice is therefore to continue ordering a few boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, knowing that as the only packaged cookies I buy, the health implications are minimal. When I get them, I plan to enjoy eating them, both for taste and nostalgia. And for each cookie, I will pause a moment to think with gratitude of those who bring love and acceptance to world, and hope that others will follow that path.