Will the Girl Scouts offer a Gluten-free option?
Not without your help! There’s a petition circulating online to help rise awareness of the need for allergen-free friendly items, and I know as a former girl scout myself that not tasting those delectable thin mints and tagalongs is quite disappointing. So for those of you who wish to help, you can read the cause below from Change.org and click here to sign the petition.
This petition was started on May 8, 2011 in honor of Celiac Awareness Month and Food Allergy Awareness Week. For those with a food allergy, many, if not all of the Girl Scout cookies are off limits. Consumers have a choice not to buy the cookies. However, members of the Girl Scouts are encouraged to sell the cookies to learn skills, obtain prizes and be part of an organization. Despite this, the organization isn’t doing enough to support and incorporate its members that have food allergies.
Nationwide, for 2009, the most recent year studied by the Center for Disease Control, the estimate for children with food allergies was 5%. For adults, the number is 4% in America according to the Food Allergen and Anaphylaxis Network. In 2010, the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated the number could be as high as 10%.
Based on these statistics, then approximately 132,000 members of the approximately 3,300,000 Girls Scouts are selling cookies that they may not be able to eat. Additionally, the Girls Scouts are leaving out up to 10% of the American marketplace who cannot buy their cookies.
The Girl Scouts license their cookies to two companies: ABC Bakers and Little Brownie Bakers. Both companies have been contacted by myself and others inquiring about them producing an allergen free cookie and I have been advised that there isn’t enough of a market to support such a product. ABC Bakers even states on their website that there isn’t enough of a demand for a cookie that is free from either sugar or gluten. However, what these two bakers and the Girl Scouts have never tried is to market just one cookie that is free from the top eight food allergens.
The cookie manufacturers and Girl Scouts have indicated that when they see enough of a need, they will consider manufacturing such a cookie. If you or a member of your family have a food allergy and you have not been able to buy Girl Scout cookies because of this, please sign this petition letting the Girl Scouts know that they have lost out on your business but you would buy a box of cookies from them if they made a delicious cookie that is free from the top eight food allergens.
Although no support is too much, it is requested that only those that would buy a delicious, allergen free cookie sign this petition so that the Girl Scouts and its bakers know that there is a market for this and it would be profitable. Concern for those with allergies is not enough for a company to make a business decision. The Girl Scouts and its bakers need to see that this will be a profitable venture for them in order for us to encourage them to take on this endeavor and offer their first ever allergen free cookie.