Home / Blog / Article


March 25 2015

Mamavation Myths: Killer Thin Mints

Julie Gunlock

Mamavation is at it again with their misleading blog posts. Today, it’s a warming against “toxic” Girl Scout cookies.

That’s right. The blog post, authored by my favorite Mamavation alarmist Elizabeth Bruno, goes full paranoid, starting with its charming title: “Peddling Poison: What’s Really in Girl Scout Cookies.

Really? Poison?

Let’s just take a stroll down exaggeration lane, shall we?

In the blog post, Bruno (who has a talent for hyperbole) actually suggests these cookies are poison. Before delving into her bizarre reasoning, let’s just for the sake of argument imagine that she’s correct (I know, it hurts to do this) and say these cookies are actually poison.

To believe that, you’d have to also believe that the Girl Scouts organization is an unethical, felonious, and wholly immoral club filled with thousands of budding sociopaths who are encouraged to sell poison cookies to families and who earn merit badges while doing it. It also means, the 100-plus-year-old organization is run by mass murdering lunatics who have devised a sophisticated method to use their army of young ladies to slowly kill the American public.

Does this sound reasonable? Possible? Plausible? If not, ignore Bruno’s odd article. If so, well, I doubt anything else I try to debunk is going to reassure you. But let’s give it a go.

Let’s take a look at the meat (Sorry, Ms. Bruno, I meant the vegetarian meat substitute) of Bruno’s piece. Basically, Bruno says these cookies are poison because they contain…enriched flour, sweeteners, vegetable shortening, artificial coloring, and artificial preservatives.

Hey, I don’t know about you, but just writing that list made me super hungry!

I mean, what exactly does Bruno think Girl Scout Cookies should be made of? Magic? Unicorn hair and fairy dust? Purple flowers and puppy tears? Toddler kisses and baby sweat?

Girl Scout cooks actually tried to make it with those ingredients but unfortunately the taste and texture was a teensy bit off. So, they decided to rely on science instead to develop a cookie that tasted good, had an adequate shelf life, and that satisfied consumer and scout demands.

As for Bruno’s claims that all of these ingredients are toxic, she might want keep in mind that even with cookies, the dose makes the poison. Yes, I’m sure if you ate a few billion cookies, you might die. But is anyone doing that? No. Heck, people can’t even develop a year-round Girl Scout cookie habit because Girl Scout cookies are a once a year treat.

People do not live on these confections. They might eat a sleeve (or three) once a year, but for the most part, these cookies aren’t a part of a normal diet nor do reasonable people see them as part of healthy habits. And for those who do (again, once a year!) eat more than an appropriate serving of Girl Scout cookies; chances are, they know they’ve overdone it.

One other amusing part of Bruno's piece is that her title--"What's Really in Girl Scout Cookies"--suggest the Girl Scouts are hiding something or some terrifying ingredient. Yet, when you look at the blog post, she actually includes pictures she's taken of both the nutrition label and ingredient list that's present on the actual boxes of cookies. Pro tip for Bruno: when suggesting someone's concealing something, don't provide evidence to the contrary.

Look, Mamavation isn't going to stop attacking these happy traditions and they are never going to cool it with the hyperbole. But moms and fans of Girl Scout cookies should be aware of what Mamavation does: Lie, steal everyone's fun, and make everyone worry for no reason at all.

The Girl Scouts is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping girls understand the importance of civic duty, independence, fun and friendship. The annual cookie drive is a much loved tradition that provides these young women with a sense of accomplishment and teaches them concepts of leadership, decision making and basic business skills.

Elizabeth Bruno needs to eat a thin mint and calm down.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
Follow us