Cookies for sale in a classroom near you

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Cookies for sale in a classroom near you

Om Khandekar

As of the first of February, Girl Scout cookie season has officially begun. For one month, Girl Scout cookies are distributed throughout the community by local Girl Scouts, who are sent out with a quota to fill of this trademarked brand of cookies. That’s right, cookies so special that not only are they trademarked but they also have their own cult following. Apparently Girl Scout cookies have grown to become just as much a part of America as freedom and justice, complete with diehard fans who swear they can really taste the difference between real cookies and knockoffs. With all the profits going towards the Girl Scouts of America, and towards the goal of developing their girls into future leaders, the sale of these cookies doesn’t affect or benefit the state of California or MVHS in any way. It really  doesn’t seem like MVHS has any reason to let the GS sell in school, especially when you consider the fact that MVHS already sells and makes money off of its own food. So why are the sale of Girl Scout cookies allowed in school?

girl-scout-cookies-infographicVending machines around the school are another example of products being sold to students. No matter how good or bad the food tastes, if the S.M.A.R.T. food company wants to sell at MVHS, those products have to meet certain standards. In this case, that means sticking to the regulations put in place under MVHS policy to sell
healthier food. According to CA Educational Code 49512, schools must provide their students with nutritious meals that meet with regulations created by the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Education and Welfare. The GS, however, don’t seem to meet the nutritional part of that statement and don’t seem to be regulated in any way. Individual members sell however many cookies they want to however many people they want. They only report their income to their superiors, and as mentioned before, the GS are an independent organization that doesn’t communicate with the district. If you want to become a billionaire cookie mogul, it seems like GS cookies are the way to go if you don’t want to have to deal with those pesky rules.

 

So at this point, what’s the difference between selling Girl Scout cookies and selling other products without regulation? By this logic, it seems like there really isn’t a line between allowing GS to sell seemingly harmless cookies and major companies to sell goodies to students. Girl Scout cookies themselves are filled with many suspect ingredients that would definitely make a nutritionist cringe. All the food that is vetted by the school has to meet certain health standards, all except for the Girl Scout cookies, that is. Even worse, it’s starting to look like a successful business model as well. Public schools are a place where enrollment is virtually mandatory. The cookies themselves are only sold for a month, and a philanthropic organization like the GS don’t capitalize on the success of their cookies’ sales. But when every other company and their moms start selling their own suspect foods year-round to everyone, then all of a sudden this institution of learning becomes just another mall in the Bay Area.   

As of right now, GS cookies state that the profits from the cookies they sell go towards more “philanthropic” means, and these sales help out the Scouts learn valuable business skills. More importantly, Girl Scouts aren’t forced to sell during school. It just so happens that it’s pretty easy to sell famed sugary snacks to teenagers and the odd teacher or two that wouldn’t mind a box (to support a good cause, of course.) All the same, MVHS and other public schools are technically government institutions, and for anything government related there is always a whole lot of red tape to get through first. Bypassing all this red tape, it seems like the GS have fallen into a routine in order to sell cookies from student to student. It isn’t the cookies themselves that are the problem, or the fact that they are selling them during school. Its really just the fact that a private company can use school campuses to freely sell the goods that they produce and control. MVHS already has food vendors, and it already has clubs that choose to sell food that hasn’t met MVHS regulations either such as Tpumps or doughnuts. If we sell Girl Scout Cookies through those means, then we are one step closer to stopping private corporations from selling whatever they want to whomever they want under the guise that “It’s just Girl Scout cookies.” It’s a thin line selling cookies on campus, but we can definitely tagalong to get a delight later on.