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Dissecting Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies {It Isn’t Pretty!}

There is no denying that Girl Scout Cookies are delicious but when you find out what’s actually in them, you might think twice about eating them ever again.

I used to be a Girl Scout and if I knew what I know now about food and nutrition, I would have boycotted selling them until the ingredients changed. 

We all know cookies are cookies and they are a treat that isn’t meant to be “healthy.” But, the cookies I like to eat have basic ingredients – flour, sugar, butter or coconut oil, baking soda and eggs. If you’ve been to any grocery store lately, you’ll see that there are tons of options that are just that. So, why is it that the Girl Scouts get little girls to hawk these cookies year after year that are filled with artificial and questionable ingredients? 

Just take a look at the ingredients, they speak for themselves! 

Dissecting a Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cookie

Sugar made from GMO Sugar Beets

The sugar in Girl Scout Cookies doesn’t all come from sugar cane, but instead from genetically modified sugar beets. This type of sugar can contain glyphosate residues from the Roundup weed killer that is prevalently used on them. Glyphosate was deemed a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO), and is also linked to kidney disease, birth defects, and autism. If you think a little bit of herbicide residue in your cookie isn’t something to worry about, consider this, soon after Monsanto got approval to market GMO sugar beets for public consumption, they requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) increase the limit of allowable glyphosate residues in sugar beet roots from 0.2 ppm to 10 ppm – that’s a 5000% increase! Given the prevalence of Roundup-Ready crops in America, just how much of this stuff are we really eating? Not to mention glyphosate pollution of our water, soil and air that is affecting us all.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

There are two versions of of Girl Scout Cookies made by 2 different bakers. Although the ingredients are nearly identical, one version of the Thin Mints cookie (and some other cookie varieties) is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup. This sweetener can be contaminated with toxic mercury and has been shown to contribute to type II diabetes, especially in children.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils

The Girl Scouts use a sneaky FDA loophole to claim all of their cookies contain “0 Grams Trans Fat” per serving, while some of them (including Thin Mints made by Little Brownie Bakers) actually contain partially hydrogenated oil with artificial trans fat. They get away with this because the FDA allows any product is labeled “0 grams of Trans Fat” to contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving (which is only 4 Thin Mints). Yet, the Institute of Medicine says that no amount of trans fat safe to eat because trans fat is linked to thousands of cases of heart disease. Please note – The FDA is requiring all food manufactures to remove trans fats by 2018, but food companies can still petition the FDA for a special permit to continue using it. 

Enriched White Flour 

This type of flour has been stripped of natural nutrients so it has no redeeming qualities and is essentially dead food. So, they enrich it with synthetic vitamins (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid) that are not naturally derived. These fake nutrients are engineered in a lab from such things as coal tar, ammonia, formaldehyde, GMO bacteria, and petroleum.

Artificial Flavors

The type of flavors used by the Girl Scouts is a top secret man-made concoction of chemicals. Not only do you not know what chemicals you are really eating when you eat artificial flavors, but they are linked to allergic reactions.

Class IV Caramel Color

There are 4 different types of caramel color used by the food industry, and Class IV caramel color is added to some Girl Scout cookies like Thin Mints. Class IV caramel color is made from ammonia and contains the byproduct 4-MEI, a known cancer risk.

Thin Mints Ingredients

And if Thin Mints are not your favorite Girl Scout Cookie, Samoas are even worse! 

Samoa Cookie

And if you like Tagalongs – here’s the deal with those:

Tagalong Cookie

Do we really need to buy these cookies to support the Girl Scouts?

When the Girl Scouts come knocking, consider a donation or volunteering for the Girl Scouts instead of buying these cookies. Please also consider signing this petition started by a little Girl Scout asking for organic and non-GMO cookies!

Voting with your dollars is not always popular or easy but surely sends the right message to these bakers that continue to use these controversial ingredients. 

If you know someone who is selling or eating Girl Scout Cookies, please share this post with them. The more people that know the truth, the better! 




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231 responses to “Dissecting Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies {It Isn’t Pretty!}

  1. Unbelievable, and sad. I agree that we have been ‘fed’ a bunch of nonsense about food. Additives, coverups and plain lies took their precedence over all foods. Its true, just abt any foods in the last 50+ years has been affected. My generation, and several that followed are haunted with the residue of what and how foods have been treated in our life span. I’ve always taken care to not eat what I found suspicious or learned was unhealthy. People see the reading of labels, asking the right questions and/or educating oneself as ‘too much’ work. Not this new FoodBabe Fan! i do what I can to stay informed. I simply did not or could not stay on top of all of it over the last umpteen yearsi. The piles of informationi became unmanageable – how could i possible do all the research? My goodness, ‘they’ pull all kinds of tricks to ‘get me’. So, I am considering joining up with FoodBabe to see what I have missed. I am retired and have some time to to learn new things and break some not-so-good habits. I’m looking forward to it. It may not be until summer, and in the meantime, thanks for all you do.i

  2. I think you forgot to mention that high fructose corn syrup comes from GMO corn (maybe I am mistaken, but I get the impression it is). In addition to that, however, there are other reasons for not supporting the Girl Scouts. They have opened the troops to speakers from Planned Parenthood, the organization that sells baby parts, for example. There are better organizations for girls to support.

      1. The fact you got that information from Snopes says it all. If you trust Snopes, please buy my bridge. On second thought, I don’t think your check will be good, so don’t bother. I never said sales from Girl Scout cookies support Planned Parenthood. I said Planned Parenthood is allowed to indoctrinate the girls. Big difference. If these things were not true, PP would have sued for defamation. They didn’t. Furthermore, just because the national organization doesn’t officially allow PP to indoctrinate the girls doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Individual troops are allowed to do stuff like this. GSUSA, according to the article, ADMITS that individual troops may be doing exactly that. It should not be allowing individual troops to do this, because it flies in the face of their purpose. Furthermore, the letter on Snopes from PP claiming they do things like cancer screening is also false. They claim they do mammograms, but they don’t even own one mammogram X-ray machine. There are numerous clinics that offer genuine health care to women. PP isn’t one of them. All PP does is attacks women’s bodies and rips out their souls. And this goes way back to the 70’s. I personally researched it, and I have been keeping on top of these things for nearly 45 years. As for THIS article, just look at the ingredients list. It contains a lot of really nasty ingredients. I notice you didn’t dispute that. If they are truly for the girls, they wouldn’t be asking them to sell poison. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t see the letter Snopes pontificated about. I got my information from other sources.

      2. Since you don’t like Snopes, and OMG no one wants another ridiculous diatribe f because, hey, not necessary (!!!), here is a quick Youtube video from the CEO of GSUSA herself, Anna Maria Chavez, who expressly states there is no relationship between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood. Individual troops with high school aged girls may very well decide to have a health education session with ANY medical provider, and PP falls under that umbrella since they provide women’s health screenings; I don’t see how that “flies in the face of [GSUSA’s] purpose.” However, to make the insinuation that GSUSA allows PP to “indoctrinate” girls based on a few individual experiences is a slippery slope argument, and mostly pure speculation on your part. Until you can actually come up with a reliable source or video that shows real doctrination occurring, you really have NO leg to stand on. You picked a false internet rumor as your hill to die on; congratulations.

      3. Sorry, but what I have reported is true. You are putting words in my mouth, and then attributing them to me, and then refuting what I did NOT say. And PP does very few health screenings; they do not do mammograms. Ever. I don’t see how tearing a woman’s baby out of her body (and tearing out her soul) ever qualifies them as being a “medical provider”. GSUSA DOES allow PP to indoctrinate girls. It’s not mandatory…yet. I am not obligated to do your homework for you. Go do your own. I did mine. I don’t have the space here to present all the documentation and other evidence I have.

        GSUSA needs to have some standards for what they allow the troops to do. Allowing troops to indoctrinate girls into values diametrically opposed to what their parents teach at home is just plain wrong. Corrupting a young mind is despicable.

      4. Rips out their souls? Wish I could actually see that, it would definitively proof the existence of souls. What do they use? Soul pinchers?

        They don’t have a single mammogram x-ray machine? I think your “research might be a little limited.

      5. EVERYONE knows Snopes is biased and agenda based. The married couple who started & writes the Snopes material can be easily looked up online. Many people have claimed Snopes isn’t just inaccurate, it contains blatant disinfo meant to deceive the public from the truth about certain special interest groups.

    1. Pat – you have got to get out more. Has anybody told you that the information you get from Fox News and the like is statistically 80% false? GEEZ!

      1. I didn’t get my information from Fox News, either. I check things thoroughly. I know what I am talking about. I get my information from primary sources. PP has been caught red-handed selling baby body parts, It’s on video, and I have seen the videos for myself, and some Girl Scout troops ARE letting PP in to indoctrinate girls. This should be absolutely forbidden.

      2. Hate to tell you this, but the prosecutor’s office has ties to Planned Parenthood. The whole indictment is based on lies. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you are ignorant about the current state of the court system. It is abysmal.

        If you think the court system is all right, let me remind you that the court system ALSO sides with people who contaminate food with poison.

    2. Pat, you are spreading lies, just like the those who created a false and highly edited version about PP. If you had your facts straight, you would know that PP does not sell baby parts. Do your research. Stick with the issue of unhealthy food, like the cookies the Girl Scouts sell.

      1. No, I am spreading NO LIES. I have SEEN the baby parts for myself: hearts, livers, gonads, EYES. The eyes are what got to me. And I have seen the negotiations to sell these parts for human experimentation. I did LOTS of research. Sounds like you haven’t done yours. And why do you think that an organization that sells TRASH to raise money for girls’ activities would be particularly scrupulous about poisoning their minds?

      2. This is really to Pat…

        Sorry, Pat. You are allowed your own, ill-informed factually incorrect belief that you have an opinion. You are not allowed your own facts.

      3. Two of Planned Parenthood’s business partners, DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics, have admitted guilt in a $7.8 million settlement with the Orange County District Attorney for selling aborted baby body parts from Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties for profit in violation of federal and California law. The OCDA’s press release credits citizen journalism reporting from The Center for Medical Progress for prompting the investigation of baby body parts trafficking in Orange County.

      1. Hate to tell you this, but the prosecutor’s office has ties to Planned Parenthood. The whole indictment is based on lies. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you are ignorant about the current state of the court system. It is abysmal.

    3. Hi Pat, maybe if you actually talked to a woman who has had an abortion you’d realize that PP does not “rip out their souls.” Some women want abortions, and I know that threatens your way of life, but it’s time to get over it. Your lies are more harmful than eating a box of Girl Scout cookies every day for a year. With the cookies, you’ll get fat, but at least you won’t be shaming women and openly lying online in your free time. Cheers 🙂

      1. Hey, I have talked to HUNDREDS of women who have had abortions. So that dog don’t hunt. Abortion HURTS women. Some women are coerced into abortion. A handful of women want an abortion. But I spent several years befriending one such woman, and her abortion DID tear out her soul. No, abortion does not threaten MY way of life, although at one time it did. I was almost coerced/deceived into an abortion. And the nightmares I had for months afterward I wouldn’t wish off on a DOG. The shame is against those who coerce, who do the abortions, and who create conditions that make abortion seem like the only answer, not the mother.

        Keep in mind that PTSD can often cause people to “forget” the things that caused it. Many women are in denial for years. They didn’t escape harm. It will undermine their health for as long as this is not resolved. Abortion causes PTSD.

        I have only talked to TWO women (unless you are one) who seriously weren’t bothered by their abortions. And they had no soul. Seriously. They were hardened and incapable of expressing emotion.

        And I’ll tell you something else. Wanting an abortion does NOT prevent the SERIOUS complications of abortion, which are COMMON. And some of them kill the mother, and some of them kill wanted babies afterward. We have legalized back alley abortions, nothing more. I have spent countless hours trying to help women who have suffered a complication, some of them life-threatening. And I am almost positive I lost one woman to suicide. Suicide is 8 times as common in women who had an abortion as in women who carried to term, regardless of circumstances.

        Girl Scouts has shown that it is willing to threaten and harm the physical health of the scouts, and of their customers. It has shown that it is unwilling to protect the scouts from deadly information. It is time for them to get their act straight, or get lost. Join American Heritage Girls. Boycott Girl Scouts. Boycott their cookies. Boycott their troops. Our girls deserve better.

    4. Thank you Pat for setting it straight. As a mother of a girl scout I sent letter to the CEO regarding this, and more recently, the Ban Bossy campaign. I was concerned that their actions were not representing our values. Thank goodness for the group that girls can join instead: American Heritage Girls.

      1. Thank you, Cheryl. The more of us who speak up, the better. As you have seen, I have gotten a lot of flack, but I’m used to it, and I’ve even faced down people in person. From what I have heard, American Heritage Girls is excellent. It is a sad day when fine organizations get corrupted by such trashy groups. We can hope and pray that GSUSA straightens out its act, but I have no expectations. May your daughter prosper in her new group.

    5. Oh no!!! Do any of the body parts end up in Girl Scout Cookies? They disguise nasty food additives with so many innocent-sounding names, you don’t know what you’re eating.

    6. Hi Pat, I just read through all of your comments and I want to commend you for standing up for our girls, our women, and the unborn. I am currently reading “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic. Her life story is truly incredible. Pat, don’t be upset by the naysayers; let us pray for them and keep them in our hearts. Abortion absolutely hurts women and our society as a whole. Keep fighting the good fight!

    7. Great way to hijack a thread away from the original topic, by adding a logically fallacious red herring, and adding a poison pill to the commentary. The thread is about Girls Scout Cookies, NOT Planned Parenthood. Stick to the topic or step off!

  3. Am I the only one who does not expect my junk food to be healthy? Every day I make healthy choices and unhealthy choices. Right now I could be on a walk. I decided to sit at my computer and drink coffee. I’m sitting next to a box of thin mints. I could have bought organic fruit as a treat instead… though I consider that to be a snack not a treat. See that? I know the difference between a snack and a treat.

    I could put myself in a bubble where I only get fresh filtered air, quadruple reverse osmosis filtered water, direct/filtered sunlight (I’m really not sure about that one), my own organic garden, hand raised/free range/no antibiotic livestock, ergonomic furniture (where I still get up for a 15 min walk every 30 minutes of inactivity), no cell phones/tv/laptop, no cosmetics, no sulfate, no silicones, etc. etc. etc.

    Well, no I couldn’t. And I wouldn’t want to. Every day I make healthy choices and unhealthy choices. Are thin mints a healthy choice? For my diet? No. For my overall happiness? In small quantities, yes.

    As for Girl Scouts, it’s an awesome organization. To those who have had negative experiences with troops, remember that being a member of a good organization does not make you a good person. There are good troops and there are bad troops. In my daughter’s troop she has never had to pay anything beyond her first year’s membership ($15) and her uniform (about $100 for a full set). The cookie sales have covered her membership, badges, pins, activities, trips and supplies since then (this is her 3rd year). We just buy uniform pieces as she needs them. In fact, they would have covered her first year membership and her uniform if we couldn’t afford them. Our troop doesn’t believe money should ever be a reason you can’t join. Also, cookie sales are COMPLETELY optional. They do recommend that each girl sell at least 12 boxes so that they can earn a badge, but this can be easily achieved by showing up to one booth sale. No peddling to friends, family or committing to cookies involved. I am so sorry to any girl scout who has not had a good experience, but remember to put the blame where it belongs and don’t punish a whole organization for the actions of individual people.

    1. Very well put. I just ordered 5 boxes of cookies for my family. I know they are not a healthy food choice. My children watch me eat salad and walk 4 miles most days so I don’t think eating the occasional cookie is completely ruining the hard work I do to keep my family healthy. (Who eats 4 cookies at a time anyway! ?)

      As for PP being involved with individual troop meetings, I applaud those troops. The best way to prevent an abortion is to prevent pregnancy in the first place. I homeschool my children on a Christian based curriculum, but I am not so nieve to think that ignoring the topic of reproduction will keep my child from getting pregnant. I believe in educating my daughters about every way they can take care of themselves, including use of birth control, and condoms to prevent pregnancy should they choose not to abstain from sex as I am guiding them to do.

      Our girls can all benefit from the education PP has to offer. We need as many adults as possible in our girls lives to help teach our girls to prevent pregnancy. We need adults who will say to our daughters, “the best option is to not have sex if you are not ready for a baby, but if you fall short of that goal, at least make sure you are safe. ” If that message is “indoctrinating” my children I am okay with it. I will be “indoctrinating” my children with that message, and I want my family, my ministry, my friends and my medical providers to “indoctrinate” my children as well. PP provides a perfect platform to speak to a group of girls in a way that would make most parents uncomfortable. The troops who understand this are very forward thinking and proactive.

      1. who DOESN’T eat 4 or more cookies at a time? are you nuts!

        lmao for real though, junk food is junk food for a reason :] cheers

      2. We do NOT need PP to teach reproduction and sexual education. That can be done by any qualified health care provider, or school health teacher. Regardless of anyone’s beliefs regarding ‘reproductive rights’ can we all just agree that it’s better for people -especially our youth- to receive neutral, straightforward factual info about sex and health? PP is too controversial an organization to be involved in something like Girl Scouts. Ask a federally qualifying health care center worker, hospital worker, or local health teacher like I mentioned to come talk to a troop…someone with no agenda.

  4. And I thought I wouldn’t buy anymore Girl Scout Cookies because I would be supporting the leftist agenda and Planned Parenthood. Oh my, an I glad I haven’t bought any!

    1. The entire firmer USA has been grabbed by the global communist movement. Sexual deviants are welcome to work with GG and Scouts, it’s why my kids keep well away – the pedophiles and raises will get your kids!

  5. Hi Food Babe,

    I was wondering if you could provide the source revealing that the cookies contain GMO sugar beets treated with Monsanto products and synthetic vitamins. the enriched flour? Also, do you know that the synthetic vitamins in the cookies come from coal, tar, etc., or where you just stating it as a possibility in order to make a statement?

    Thank you!

  6. In 1900 there were no girl scout cookies, gmo’s, pesticides. There were no BIG drug companies, food companies, or whatever BIG you choose to demonize. No Monsanto’s trying to poison and kill us all. The average life expectancy then was around 47 years of age.

    Today we have all the worst things according to you….girl scout cookies among them plus a few you don’t mention, like drugs and gun violence. Our average life expectancy today is around 80. How could it be that our food is killing us? You’ve never answered that question.

    I think I will take my chances on eating an occasional snack of girl scout cookies rather than to try my luck eating a burrito at Chipotle.

    1. This is old, but I can’t resist commenting.

      100 years ago, people typically died “young” from illnesses/diseases that we have treatments for today.
      And of course… longer life expectancy is different from life quality. Skin/thyroid/digestive/etc. issues are more common today.

  7. My daughter is selling gs cookies which years ago I complained about(all the junk in them)
    This new flyer does say no high fructose corn syrup, yes wheat flour, no artificial colors,rspo certified palm oil and no hydrogenated oils in 4 varieties.
    Are you saying that all those things are flat out lies, just don’t eat thin mints or what?
    If it is all complete lies, then I will go back and make my comments heard. Please explain.

  8. Vani – Thanks so much for taking this on! I’ve been trying to make time to contact you about this issue since I learned about your food crusades. It angers me to know the Girl Scouts of America are teaching girls to profit by feeding poison to others. It’s also very sad that the comment on this post have degenerate into another debate on Planned Parenthood, rather than the original issue.
    Great work! Go get ’em!

  9. Why isn’t the Cocoa Processed with Alkali marked in red due to being processed with washing soda? Also, baking soda is made using a harsh process involving ammonia, so shouldn’t this also be marked in red?

  10. So is it really true that Thin Mints are that bad?!!!
    Wow I can’t believe it!I didn’t know that those cookies lead to cancer,diseases and stuff.That sounds absolutely insane and wrong!If it’s really that bad then the Girl Scouts shouldn’t sell them.They should sell healthier foods that are great for people to eat and enjoy without worrying.I have another question.What would happen if somebody ate them but not every single day?Would that be ok?

  11. I’m disturbed by the sorbitol and carrageenan. I didn’t know about the gmo sugar, so that’s even worse. Thanks for the info. I like to support friends’ kids, but why can’t they use real food ingredients?

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