Sophia Hammond, an 11-year-old Girl Scout, has become an outspoken critic of the Girl Scouts' use of palm oil in their cookies. Using her grandmother's recipes, she started making her own cookies after she discovering the connection between palm oil and deforestation, climate change, and human rights abuses. She offered her homemade cookies to neighbors but also gave them the choice to buy official Girl Scout cookies. Both priced at $5, Sophia sold 44 dozen cookies of her own and 138 boxes of the Girl Scout-branded ones.
New Hampshire Public Radio has the whole story:
Before embarking on her rogue cookie sales, Sophia got the okay from her local troop and troop leader, but she didn't check with the regional Girl Scout council, which coordinates cookie sales. Easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
"Really the worst that can happen is they can sue us, or kick me out of Girl Scouts," she said. "But if they kick me out of Girl Scouts for doing this, I wouldn't be that upset to leave."
The way she sees it, if the Girl Scouts do take action against her "for me being an entrepreneur, even though they've taught me how to do it, I wouldn't be that upset."
But Tricia Mellor, the head of the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, didn't sue Sophia or kick her out.
"We are proud of Sophia for being passionate about an issue that she strongly believes in," Mellor said. "That's what Girl Scouting is all about."
Sophia isn't going to face any punishment for her cookie side hustle, but Mellor did push back on her criticism of the Girl Scout recipe. She said the Girl Scouts have changed the sourcing of their ingredients in response to concerns from girls. Their corporate bakers pledge to use sustainability sourced palm oil, though critics say unsustainable oil still likely finds its way into the supply chain.
Sophia will donate the ~$100 profit from her homemade cookie sales to her troop.