Everyone just loves Girl Scout Cookies, their tasty, wholesome, and fun. People even enjoy buying those cute little boxes from the scouts, because they feel good doing it. However, why will the Girl Scouts not offer a gluten-free option? According to girlscouts.org, “Girl Scout Cookies are produced only once a year and for a limited time, so our bakers never achieve the volume required to support the specific production of specialty cookies. The demand has not been great enough to make it economically feasible; however, our bakers continue to experiment and have a commitment to ensuring there is always a "healthful" cookie in their line-up.”
Today one in 133 Americans suffer from Celiac Disease, also known as gluten intolerance, and that’s probably an understated statistic. Many people are addicted to most of the stomach medicines on the drug store isle, and others take massive doses of proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, Prevacid and Aciphex, every single day, with no plans to stop. Surprisingly, most people have no idea that the cause of their pain, that includes everything from chronic heartburn, diarrhea and abdominal bloating, is due to the consumption of gluten, otherwise known as WHEAT.
The medical community has, for years, avoided questions about gluten intolerance, primarily because, up until recently, general testing for the condition has not been perfected. Secondly, there is a huge incentive for the physician to prescribe a level of relief by the drug industry. According to AstraZeneca, “the gastrointestinal market is valued at $39.4 billion, with the proton pump inhibitor market accounting for $23.4 billion.” Last year alone, Nexium sold more than $4.4 billion worth of their “little purple pills.”
Continued use of this class of drugs and the effect they might have on the human body is not well known, however we are discovering a link between overall bone health and the drug product. Common sense should certainly dictate that if you take this powerful pill every single day, something in the body will take a hit. The good news is, the probable solution to this very uncomfortable malady is to simply avoid wheat gluten all together, and within a very short period of time (hours and days), the individual will feel better, and may be able to stop their dependence on these powerful and expensive medications.
The Girl Scouts could help in this painful equation by considering that a gluten free offering is more than just a “specialty cookie”, akin to organic, low-carb or non-fat. The organization should consider this offering as a helping hand to the suffering public whose painful gut diminishes their quality of life, and actually removes the smiles from their faces. Plus, the Girl Scouts might be surprised to see a surge in sales as well, and so what if they don’t, it’s called doing the right thing.