For the 2013 season, the Girl Scouts have introduced Mango Creme cookies. The cookie sandwich uses a mango-flavored filling with vanilla and coconut cookie shells. The full title of the cookie is actually "Mango Cremes With Nutrifusion™." What is Nutrifusion™? The cookie does use some concentrates that provide some vitamins. See the article, "Mango Creme Girl Scout Cookies Boast Questionable 'NutriFusion." They taste so good; they're delicious.
One serving means only three cookies. From that one serving, you eat 20 percent of your daily saturated fat intake. Then you get the saturated palm oil. The concentrates come from whole food concentrate of cranberry, pomegranate, orange, grape, strawberry, and even shiitake mushrooms, according to the article. Check out the site, "Mango Creme Girl Scout Cookies Boast Questionable 'NutriFusion."
The idea is to suggest you get a fusion of nutrition. Everyone knows how healthy some shiitake mushrooms are when added to any food and the same applies to pomegranate and cranberry or strawberry that really do have health benefits in their natural, raw forms (with the exception of the mushrooms that are better not eaten raw.)
Health-wise, the Mango Cremes With Nutrifusion™ are slightly healthier than some other Girl Scout cookies (roughly three Mango Cremes are equivalent to two Tagalongs, based on saturated fat intake), according to the February 19, 2013 Huffington Post (Food Section) article, "Mango Creme Girl Scout Cookies Boast Questionable 'NutriFusion." Girl Scouts do have 15 percent Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin B1 and 5 percent RDI of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 per serving. But they're still a commercial cookie made of processed ingredients.
Sure, they taste good enough to bring you back to buy more
Just because fruit concentrates are added to the cookies doesn't change the sugar, salt, and fat content. It's still not sweetened with stevia, and the oil isn't much different from the oils used in any other cookie you buy in a bag from the supermarket. It's not a dehydrated raw, sprouted grain or gluten-free cookie.
And there's still salt and sugar added. Your children would be selling healthier foods to raise funds for the Girl Scouts or any other group by selling something more healthy in the eyes of nutrition-minded parents and experts. If not all cookies are created equal on supermarket shelves, you still can choose between cookies made with whole grains and fruits and bleached white flour and chocolate chips at the store.
What would a healthier cookie looks like?
It would be made from raw sprouted grains such as buckwheat or amaranth, crushed sprouted seeds such as flax or other plant foods that are gluten-free, not contain added sugar or syrups, just whole fruit, and then dehydrated without the use of added fats or oils. And unless you make it yourself, a raw, sprouted type of dehydrated cookie probably would cost more in the food market. But you could make it yourself at home with your kids.
Dried fruit can sweeten cookies as would a pinch of stevia without adding sugar. But of course, with commercial processed cookies, shelf life is important. You can't serve dehydrated raw food cookies to kids without charging more money? Or could you? One way is to make cookies yourself and let the Girl Scouts find many ways of raising funds without feeding the public food similar to what you find coming out of many commercial bakeries.
Transfats in Girl Scout cookies
If transfats were taken out of some fast-food restaurants menus, why are they still in Girl Scout cookies? In the cookies listed at the ingredients site for the 2009 - 2010 season, the cookies contained transfats, salt, and added sugar, according to the website, "Girl Scout Cookie Nutrition Facts." Amazingly, the cookies are addictive because a lot of people are addicted to sugar and transfats or the salt and sugar in the cookie as well as the wheat flour. If the cookies are to raise money, you'd think that instead of wheat flour, gluten-free products might be used.
And instead of sugar to rot kid's teeth, stevia might be used and a lot less salt. Check out the Center for Science in the Public Interest study, "CSPI Says Food Dyes Pose Rainbow of Risks." Dentists would make far less money filling teeth if kids ate fewer cookies made with processed grains and sugar that stick to the teeth all day, assuming they don't brush after eating and the balance of calcium to phosphorus in their blood is not unbalanced by too many simple carbs and sugars, which may add to the possibility of "tooth neck disease." White flour bread and jam or jelly used to substitute for cookies for many people who couldn't afford them.
Food coloring in the Ducle de Leche cookie includes yellow #5 lake, yellow #6 lake, and blue #2 lake, not blueberry juice for a bluish color, or turmeric for yellow color. Check out the health effects of artificial food colors such as those in the cookie at the site, Taking One For The Team Against Toxic Food Dyes | Healthy Child. Check out the site, A Complete List of Girl Scout Cookies for 2013.
Food colors in Girl Scout cookies
If you research food colors Yellow #5 and Red #40, they are both azo dyes and they are made from coal tar. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives describes coal tar as a “thick liquid or semisolid tar obtained from bituminous coal, it contains many constituents including benzene, xylenes, naphthalene, pyridine, quinonlineoline, phenol, and cresol”(Winter, 2009, P. 166). The issue is whether those constituents have a link to cancer. Check out the site, Our Girl Scout Cookie Recipe Contest is Back.
Kids and parents are using Girl Scout Cookies as recipes to make other types of foods
The site notes, "Which recipe do you think would taste the best? Is the most creative? Uses your favorite Girl Scout Cookie in a fun way? Use whatever criteria you look for in a great dessert to choose your favorite. Follow the link below for voting rules and to read the recipes and pick your favorite. There's also a notice on the site, "We'll announce the winning recipes on March 4. Click here to vote."
Girl Scout Cookies are being used as an ingredient to make other foods, not just cookie snacks. See the site, Girl Scout Cookies as an ingredient - Blogs - Wichita Eagle. By using crushed cookies in other foods, the cooks, usually kids, are missing the chance to learn about what ingredients are healthiest and also taste great that aren't usually in commercial foods bought in supermarkets in packages that are already processed or baked.
Food coloring facts
Yellow #5 is also called tartrazine and E-102 and it is banned in Norway. It’s side effects are thought to include urticaria, hyperactivity, and cause complications for asthmatics. There appears to be a link between allergy to aspirin and to tartrazine. For years, the Feingold Association has been helping parents of kids with behavioral and attention difficulties by helping them eliminate all colorings and preservatives. These additives are that potent, notes the article, " Taking One For The Team Against Toxic Food Dyes | Healthy Child."
When will the people who make all those cookies to help raise money for the Girl Scouts focus on healthier cookies? A cookie could be a lot healthier without the partially hydrogenated oils. How about using rice bran oil, olive oil, walnut oil, or grape seed oil and stevia instead of partially hydrogenated cottonseed or palm kernel oil? "And in stead of the wheat flour (which raises insulin levels) healthier flours would be sprouted amaranth, quinoa, sweet potato, pea, or garbanzo bean flour.
Instead of making the cookies the way fast-food eateries make them or commercial supermarkets carry similar cookies, try sprouting and dehydrating the ingredients and using stevia or dehydrated fruit to sweeten the cookies? But of course, shelf life comes first as well as keeping down the cost of the cookies. But they could have more artery-friendly ingredients. How many people really, can eat just one cookie or limit themselves to only the one serving of several cookies printed on the container's label?
Those ingredients can be addictive to people who use comfort foods to make them feel better just as people use sugar, chocolate, dairy products or even meat for taste satisfaction. Can there be healthier ways to raise money? But in this society, any mention of a healthier cookie usually gets a frown from kids and some parents who associate the word healthy with foods that just don't taste sweet enough, salty enough, or spicy enough to excite their taste buds.
Check out the site showing the ingredients in some of the cookies, "Girl Scout Cookie Nutrition Facts," for 2009-2010.
Ingredients in some Girl Scout Cookies
The cookies may contain wheat, peanut, milk, and soy ingredients such as soybean oil or soy lecithin rather than sunflower seed lecithin. So if your child has an allergy, to soy, peanuts, milk, or wheat gluten, for example, be aware of what's in the types of cookies or what they may have come in contact with in a factory that uses wheat, peanuts, milk, and soy ingredients to make cookies.
The ingredients are printed on the labels of the various types of cookies. Kids bringing cookies or other treats to school in lunch sacks from home often trade cookies with other kids at the school lunchroom tables. And some trade their entire lunches of food carried from home.
Sugar, vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil), enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), corn syrup, coconut, sweetened condensed milk (condensed milk, sugar), contains two percent or less of sorbitol, glycerin, cocoa, invert sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, cornstarch, salt, caramelized sugar, soy lecithin, dextrose, natural and artificial flavor, carrageenan, leavening (bakingsoda, monocalcium phosphate).
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), sugar, whole grain oats, soybean and palm oil, peanut butter (roasted peanuts, hydrogenated rapeseed, cottonseed and/or soybean oil), dextrose, invert sugar, contains two percent or less of whey, salt, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), cornstarch, natural flavor, soy lecithin.
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), soybean and palm oil, sugar, contains two percent or less of brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk (condensed milk, sugar), dried buttermilk, salt, natural and artificial flavor, baking soda, soy lecithin.
Lemon Chalet Cremes
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), sugar, soybean and palm oil, dextrose, contains two percent or less of invert sugar, molasses, salt, natural and artificial ginger flavor, cornstarch, citric acid, soy lecithin, baking soda, cinnamon, natural lemon flavor with other natural flavors, whey, natural flavor, annatto color.
Dulce de Leche
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), soybean and palm oil, dulce de leche flavored drops (sugar, palm kernel and palm oil, anhydrous dextrose, nonfat dry milk solids, reduced mineral whey powder, cocoa butter, yellow #5 lake, yellow #6 lake, blue #2 lake, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, salt), sugar, brown sugar, contains two percent or less of high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial caramel flavor, salt, natural and artificial flavor, cinnamon, baking soda, whey protein concentrate.
Thank U Berry Much
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin b1], riboflavin [vitamin b2], folic acid), sugar, vegetable oil (soybean, palm, and palm kernel oil), sweetened dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt, mixed tocopherols), contains two percent or less of invert sugar, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), soy flour, salt, whey, natural and artificial cranberry flavor, nonfat dry milk, dextrose, soy lecithin, wheat gluten, natural and artificial flavor, corn syrup solids, sodium alginate.
Peanuts, sugar, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated palm, palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil, soybean and palm oil, hydrogenated palm, soybean and cottonseed oil), enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), dextrose, cocoa powder, contains two percent or less of invert sugar, salt, cornstarch, soy lecithin, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), natural and artificial flavor, whey.
Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate [vitamin B1], riboflavin [vitamin B2], folic acid), sugar, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated palm kernel and/or cottonseed oil, soybean and palm oil), cocoa, caramel color, contains two percent or less of cocoa processed with alkali, invert sugar, whey, leavening (baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, natural and artificial flavor, oil of peppermint.
What's meant by artificial flavor compared to natural flavors? Check out the sites, "What Goes Into Natural and Artificial Flavors? | Healthy Child," Food Additives, Artificial and Natural flavors and Preservatives, and How are artificial flavors made? - The Boston Globe. Check out the video, A Natural And Artificial Flavoring Factory.
Artificial and natural flavors are both chemical combinations, the video notes. And artificial flavors are largely man-made. Natural flavors come from nature. But a berry flavor doesn't have to come from a specific berry. When you see on a label "natural flavors" or "artificial flavors or coloring," it could mean the origin is not what you may have thought. Check the CBS news video, "A Natural And Artificial Flavoring Factory."
Back in 2010, some Girl Scout cookies were recalled due to a taste and smell that was not what seemed right. Check out the YouTube video, "Girl Scout Cookies Recalled Over Taste, Smell Issues - YouTube." See, "Maker of Girl Scout Cookies Announces Recall - U.S. BBB." It turned out that back then the lemon chalete crèmes cookies were safe to eat, but then they were not up to quality standards, the company said. And so they were recalled in 2010. What actually had happened was that the cookies contain oils that when broken down, result a strange taste and smell. Fortunately, the recall only affected a small batch of boxed cookies and of course, not all the cookies.
The big picture is that when any oils or fats are added to cookies, sometimes the oils do break down. You could make your own cookies without adding any fats or oils and eat them within a few days. Just dehydrate the raw cookie made from seeds, nuts, or ground grains and only make enough for what you need. Then refrigerate the rest like you would any homemade cookie. But basically, you can bet the Girl Scout cookies will sell well because they are so popular, and will raise lots of money for the Girl Scouts.