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Cookie Crumbles for Girl Scouts, as Teens Launch Palm-Oil Crusade

While Earning an Award, They Learned Why Orangutans, Thin Mints Don't Mix

Source:  Copyright 2011, Wall Street Journal
Date:  May 20, 2011
Byline:  Julie Jargon
Original URL: Status ONLINE

To boost flat cookie sales, Girl Scouts in Nassau County, New York sharpen their sales pitch in a seminar led by a professional consultant. WSJ's Christina Tsuei reports.

The girls collected their Bronze Award in 2007 and prepared for the cookie-selling season. When their cookies arrived, they turned over the boxes and read the ingredients. There it was: palm oil.

"Both of us were disheartened and upset," says Madison. "But we also felt empowered that we could do something to change it."

Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917. Today, all 16 varieties contain palm oil. Last year, troops sold $714 million worth of cookies, most of which goes to the nonprofit councils under which troops are organized.

Cookie dough has come under heat before. Until 2006, the cookies contained partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, but the scouts switched to palm oil so the cookies would be free of trans fat.

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