It’s that time of a year again, when my friend’s Facebook statuses read something like this.

“I think Girl Scout cookies should be a controlled substance.”

“Girl Scout cookies for breakfast anyone?”

“My house is stocked with Girl Scout cookies. Let me know what you need.” 

Last year, I wrote about homemade versions of Girl Scout cookies, and people responded both positively and negatively to the post. Many people were glad to have healthier versions of the cookies, but some people railed against the ingredients and the fact that the girls are asked to sell something so unhealthy.

Then there was one commenter, Tiffany, who felt that it was more important to support the organization than make your own.

There are many things that girls learn from selling cookies. Here is just a short list: talking to the public, taking orders and keeping records, inventory tracking, accounting, marketing, good communication, presentation, professionalism, networking, how to prevent hypothermia, and dressing to represent one's organization. There are many more, but those are just some of the ones I learned selling Girl Scout Cookies for 10 years …. The Girl Scout Cookies sale is not just about the cookies, though they are a plus, it is mainly about teaching girls real life skills in a safe and supported environment…
So, yes, you could make your own, but wouldn't you rather support the organization? And you don't even have to eat the cookies you by [sic]. There is a program where you can purchase cookies to send to solders [sic] 
over seas, who can't purchase them their selves. That way you can support the organization and not feel guilty eating them…
I don’t remember learning any of that when I was a Girl Scout. I remember occasionally standing outside the JC Penney at a strip mall with my friends to sell cookies, but my mom took care of the rest of it, including a lot of the selling. My mom didn’t have Facebook to hock the cookies on, either.

I suppose that there are parents who hold their girls responsible for the cookie-selling process, and that’s a good thing. So is sending cookies to soldiers overseas.

Last year, Girl Scouts in the Atlanta area (pictured above) collected more than 10,000 boxes of donated Girl Scout cookies to give to soldiers. Some were handed out at the airport to returning and departing soldiers. Some were sent to soldiers in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The Pepsi Refresh Project awarded $5,000 last year to the Military Connections Corporations, money to be used as postage to ship donated Girl Scout cookies to soldiers.

So while, yes, the cookies aren’t particularly environmentally friendly or healthy, they do some good for the girls selling them and the soldiers who receive a familiar piece of home. So don’t feel guilty about buying a box or two. And if you still aren’t comfortable buying the cookies, make them yourself and donate a few dollars to the Girl Scouts so they can continue to do good. 

I'm sure I'll end up with a couple of boxes of Thin Mints this year (just a couple). Are you planning on buying any Girl Scout cookies this year?

Also on MNN: Homemade versions of your favorite Girl Scout cookies

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Will you buy Girl Scout cookies this year?
They're not organic or locally made, but you can accomplish some good by buying them — even if you don't eat them yourself.