Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

The latest salvo in the war on sensible eating has been launched by an unexpected combatant: The Girl Scouts.

Girl Scout Cookie season is upon us, and this year’s new cookie is the Mango Crème. According to abcsmartcookies.com, these “tangy, refreshing tropical treats are packed with great taste AND vitamins! Crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies feature a mango-flavored crème filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries!”

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(Mercifully, Mango Crèmes are not available on Long Island. Local Girl Scout organizations nationwide contract with one of two licensed bakeries; ABC Bakers makes Mango Crèmes, but Nassau and Suffolk County Girl Scouts get their cookies from Little Brownie Bakers which does not.)

Now, I have nothing against cookies. And nothing against health food. What I object to is selling cookies as a health food.

The vitamins in Mango Crèmes are there courtesy of GrandFusion™, “a blend of fruits and/or vegetables that can significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability, of food, beverage and snack products.”

GrandFusion™ is a product developed by South Carolina-based NutriFusion™. On the “allowable claims” page at nutrifusion.com, the company declares that the “simple addition of NutriFusion® and the nutritional benefits it imparts on your packaged goods, creates the perfect line extension .?.?. the small percent increase in production costs, enables a several-fold increase in cost-to-consumer pricing as your product would be perceived as a nutritionally superior product.”

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A small percent increase in production costs enables a several-fold increase in cost-to consumer pricing. What a great lesson for America’s girls!

3 Mango Crème cookies contain 15 percent RDI (the FDS's recommended “reference daily intake”) of Vitamin B1, 5 percent of Vitamins A, C, D, E and B6. They also contain flour, sugar, palm oil, corn syrup, leavening, natural and artificial flavor, cornstarch, coconut, soy lecithin, citric acid, malic acid, annatto color and “nutrients from natural whole food concentrate of” cranberry, pomegranate, orange, grape, strawberry, shiitake mushrooms.

Here’s what Mango Crème cookies do not contain: mango, cream.

The idea that eating a few cookies is bad for most kids’ health is absurd. The only thing more absurd is the idea that eating a few Mango Crèmes is good for kids’ health.