New Girl Scout cookie touts health benefits

The latest cookie offering from the Girl Scouts features an ingredient called "NutriFusion" that reportedly gives it a vitamin boost.

 

It's that time of year again. The time when we dutifully start rationalizing cracks in our New Year's resolutions because supporting the Girl Scouts is, you know, a good cause, right? And this year the Girl Scouts are trying to tempt us with a new cookie that claims to be a little bit healthier than your average cookie.

The Girl Scouts have announced the addition of Mango Crèmes with NutriFusion to their cookie repertoire. But what exactly is NutriFusion? The ingredient list on the package says it's basically a mash-up of cranberry, pomegranate, orange, grape, strawberry and shiitake mushrooms.

Yup. Mushrooms.

One thing missing from the ingredients list, notably, is mango.

With the addition of the NutriFusion compote, the Scouts' baker is peddling the cookies as healthier than your average cookie, boasting 15 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B1 and 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamins A, C, D, E and B6 — plus no trans fats, hydrogenated oils or preservatives. "Try some today and enjoy a delicious new way to get your vitamins!" the baker, ABC Smart Cookies, says on its website.

Critics have been quick to point out that vitamin fortification does not make the cookie a health food. "Let's be clear here — even with NutriFusion, the Mango Crèmes are still a cookie, not some sort of magical health food," writes Carey Polis at The Huffington Post.

Last year the Girl Scouts released the Savannah Smiles cookie, a powdered-sugar-coated lemon cookie similar to its Lemon Cooler variety, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

While even a vitamin-fortified cookie is still just a cookie, it's not the first time the Girl Scouts have caused cookie controversies.

The cookies still contain palm oil, an ingredient that has gotten the Girl Scouts in hot water over the years because of the impact its production has on tropical forests. The Girl Scouts paid to participate in the GreenPalm program, which helps fund sustainable palm oil production, but critics say that in no way guarantees that the oil used in baking is actually from sustainable sources.

The Scouts organization has said palm oil is necessary to ensure shelf life while keeping out the trans fats. 

Meanwhile, a Girl Scout in California is calling for a complete cookie boycott because the organization allowed a transgendered scout to join in Colorado.

More from MSN: Girl Scouts release vitamin-containing Mango Crème cookies for 2013