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     Girl Scout Cookies 2009: Salmonella and Anti-Semitism?
    Entertainment: Food
    This is the fourth year that our daughters have been selling Girl Scout cookies as part of their membership in Girl Scouts. Ordinarily the questions are "When do we see the cookies?" (End of February in 2009), and "Should we pay now?" ("No" up until this year). However, this year we were confronted by an unsettling statement from a neighbor who usually liked to buy thin mints.

    "I am not interested this year. Did you notice that Girl Scout cookes had the Hesher Tax?" he stated. I had know clue who this Hesher was, or why Hesher was taxing Girl Scout cookies. "The Kosher Tax," he attempted to clarify, pointing to the capital letter U inside a circle, stamped on the box to indicated that Girl Scout cookies are Kosher.

    Yes, all Girl Scout cookies are Kosher. The Kosher Hescher is the (U) symbol for the The_Union_of_Orthodox_Jewish_Congregations in New York City ( Girl Scouts is open to all faiths, beliefs, and dietary regulations. And that by certifying Girl Scout cookies Kosher, that ensures that more people will buy and eat them.

    As the realization of the type of person I was dealing with smacked me, I knew it would be a lost cause to explain that, in fact, not all Girl Scouts are WASP stock.  I had no idea that this kind of urban legend about the Kosher tax would be perpetuated in my neighborhood.  It also is a heavy topic that is difficult to explain to a 4th grader while trudging through snow and 10 degree temperatures and wind chill with your ears and faces all bundled up against the wind chill. Where do you begin to explain that someone will not buy Girl Scout cookies because that person is a bigot? Perhaps that is the type of lesson that it is good to learn in a controlled setting like door to door selling.

    "Hesher" seems to be a somewhat obscure term for the Kosher symbol that so far I have only turned up on hate speech web sites. It is also a derogatory slang term for a heavy metal rocker who is older than a teen ager, and is synonymous with loser.

    The bigger question that we have been asked, "Will the Girl Scout Peanut Butter Patties (also known as Tagalongs) and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies (also known as Do-Si-Dos) be affected by the Peanut Butter Salmonella scare?" As of January 15, Little Brownie Bakers had an announcement on their web site.

    For Release: January 15, 2009 Peanut Butter Safety in Girl Scout Cookies®
    LOUISVILLE, KY — The peanut butter used in all Little Brownie Bakers Girl Scout® cookie products is not sourced from the supplier involved in the current peanut butter recall.

    FDA and other regulatory agencies have indicated that Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) is the focus of their investigation concerning a recent Salmonella outbreak thought to be caused by tainted peanut butter. PCA does not supply peanut butter used in the Company's Tagalongs® or Do-si-dos® branded Girl Scout® cookies.

    Food safety is of the utmost importance to us. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us to provide high quality, safe food. We appreciate your support of the Girl Scouts® in your community
    Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2009 @ 10:49:17 UTC by BB
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