Awesome Woman of the Month: Molly Moon Neitzel

“One of the beautiful things about ice cream is that almost any ingredient or combination of ingredients you find in your community can be turned into an ice cream that will impress your dinner guests!” –Molly Moon

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If you live in Seattle, Molly Moon’s is a household name. And, if you live near any of Molly’s four shops, you’ve probably found clever ways to work ice cream into your lunch plan and – let’s face it – dinner, too! Most people who’ve tried her ice cream can tell you that any time is a good time for a scoop!

If you haven’t tasted her cold confections, try and wrap your brain around flavor combinations like honey lavender, salted caramel, vegan coconut chunk or “Scout” Mint, made with Thin Mints purchased from Girl Scouts here in Western Washington! Even vanilla is elevated in the hands Ms. Moon’s crew, a million tiny flecks of vanilla bean swirled happily into each scoop. Try any flavor with her homemade hot fudge, and you may never look at ice cream the same way again.

And that’s sort of the point. Mass-produced ice cream isn’t really something you’d want to look at too often once you actually read the ingredients. It’s difficult to be proud of high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and dyes, chemicals, hormone-laden milk and other unidentifiable ingredients that don’t leave our bodies – or our communities – very happy.

When we consume things made with ingredients that came from far-away places, that means more pollution in our environment, and less money that stays in our communities with the people who so passionately grow our food.

That’s why Molly Moon is the perfect person to sponsor our Forever Green Challenge for July: Eat Local, Eat Organic. She is truly committed to supporting local farms, and using organic ingredients as much as possible. She also composts everything, and has no trash at her stores. She’s not only supporting her community, but her world, too!

How awesome is that?

First, a bit about Molly:

Molly attended 11 years of Girl Scout Camp at Camp Alice Pittenger in McCall, Idaho, and learned valuable life lessons she still uses as an adult.

“Camp was one of the very best parts of my childhood, and ended up shaping who I am in many ways,” Molly shares. “Things like, ‘always leave a place better than when you found it’ influence the way I treat the planet as well as a friend’s kitchen after a dinner party. Lessons like ‘make new friends, but keep the old’ has certainly been true as I make new friends every day with ice cream, but stay connected to the people who’ve helped me from the start!”

Molly credits her Girl Scout Cookie selling experiences with helping her learn more about business. Her high cookies sales earned her scholarships to camp! Molly has returned the favor by purchasing more than 12,000 boxes from Girl Scouts of Western Washington troops in the last four years alone to make her Scout Mint, said to be one of her top selling flavors!

“Last spring, when I bought 325 boxes of cookies from one articulate little lady, her mom started crying,” says Molly. “Our purchase had just gotten her a full ride to camp!”

Talk about seeing firsthand what a Girl Scout Cookie can do! It can teach girls important business skills, send girls to camp AND make ice cream taste amazing!

Molly is living proof that Girl Scouts empowers girls to learn leadership skills and gain the confidence they need to make a difference in their communities, and she wants girls everywhere to know that they can do anything they want with their lives. “That’s probably the biggest thing Girl Scouting taught me,” she smiles.

Why Molly votes for local – in her own words

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Ms. Moon reminds us that the fewer miles food has traveled, the fewer fossil fuels are burned. Whether your food travels by rail, ship, plane or truck, it all requires fuel to get from the farm to your kitchen. The shorter the distance, the smaller the amount of fossil fuels burned and the smaller the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

Eating local helps support your local economy. Farmers receive only a fraction of what you pay for the food they grow. The rest of the money pays for getting the food from the farm to your shopping cart. Fuel, truck maintenance and refrigeration are a few of these expenses. When you buy local foods, you’re eliminating these additional costs, so more of the money you spend can go straight to the farmers, contributing to the wellness of your entire community!

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