If you haven’t noticed, The Girl Scouts have hit the streets with their cookies this month. They’ve opted for a throwback twist this year as many girls are pulling wagons with cookies ready to deliver on the spot. It may become their biggest sales year yet. Cookies on demand, at your door? Pretty tough to say no to a Thin Mint when it’s literally in your face. Unless of course, you’ve been reading more about what’s actually in those cookies. That may scare you off of Carmel Delights for life.
But, what about the girls’ counterparts? The Boy Scouts sell popcorn every fall. Is their product any better? They are, after all, selling corn, the biggest genetically modified (GM) crop in this country. And the law states no one has to label whether or not a product contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). And if you search a package of Boy Scout Popcorn, the Trails End Brand, you’ll see no mention of GMOs on the labels. Are our girls getting an unfair rap? Are the boys being just as irresponsible with what they’re selling to the public?
It appears not, at least on the GMO front. Elizabeth Weaver works with Weaver Popcorn Company, Inc. They are the distributor and producer of Trails End Popcorn, the exclusive Boy Scout brand. Weaver explained what’s in the popcorn and why the packages do not indicate that the snack is GMO free.
“All of our corn is 100% GMO-free. The reason there is no mention of this on the packages is because there is limited space and, for a fundraising brand, the 70% return to Scouting has been deemed among Scouts and their consumers in our yearly research as the single most important message to communicate on our packages,” she said.
If you’ve ever seen a Trails End package, you will read very much about the fundraising and how 70% of the money goes back to local scouting. This results in sending boys to camps, field trips, and adventure outings. (The Girl Scouts sell cookies for about $4.00 a box and $.40 goes back to the troops, or 10% of sales).
The package also takes time to explain that the products are free of hydrogenated oils and how they strive to use as little packaging as possible to protect the environment. Weaver explained that these were the most important aspects and they’ve left issues such as gluten content, dairy content, and Kosher attributes to their website FAQ page. The FAQ page does not currently address GMOs, however Weaver affirms the corn is GMO-free. Even without trans fat and GMOs, this popcorn is still a sometimes treat – especially with the chocolate drizzles and cheesy powder topping.
While our girls are raising minimal funds by selling cookies loaded with high fructose corn syrups, trans fats, and GMOs, it looks like the Boy Scouts have attempted to take a different path, or trail as the case may be.
February 7th, 2013