2012 is first cookie-free General Conference

For the first time since anyone can remember, General Conference is strictly BYOC—bring your own cookies, according to the conference’s business manager, the Rev. Alan J. Morrison.

At past General Conferences—nobody’s sure how many—local volunteers have baked homemade cookies for delegates to enjoy during breaks at General Conference. This year, however, the Commission on the General Conference made an executive decision to eliminate the cookies—in part, to practice the church’s preaching about healthier habits for church members.

“Some folks were asking, ‘Why are we stuffing these unhealthy delegates with more unhealthy food?’” is how the Rev. Jim Harnish, chairperson of the host committee for General Conference, explains it.

At General Conference 2008 in Fort Worth, an army of volunteers from the Central Texas Conference tackled the considerable task of baking some 100,000 cookies.

“It is a major effort of the host committee to do things like that. And you’re preparing them so far in advance that, frankly, there’s a percentage of them you end up having to throw away because of health concerns,” said Mr. Morrison.

He added that handing out homemade goodies has “become more of an issue dealing with convention centers because of the changing health codes.” In some cases, the cookies pose problems at convention centers where vendors have exclusive rights on sales of food and snacks.

The good news—ending the cookie tradition could save delegates from gaining a ton of weight—literally.

Counting 100 calories per cookie, General Conference attendees will avoid a total of 10 million calories. With every 3,500 excess calories producing one pound of body fat, that means the cookie-free environment could prevent attendees from gaining some 2,857 pounds.


Mary Jacobs, Staff Writer  – mjacobs@umr.org

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