Buying Organic Makes You A Jerk, Study Says

Melissa Stusinski

People who buy organic food tend to act like jerks, according to a study published on May 15th in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science.

MSNBC states that Renate Raymond, a 40-year-old arts administrator in Seattle told them:

"I stopped at a market to get a fruit platter for a movie night with friends but I couldn't find one so I asked the produce guy. And he was like, 'If you want fruit platters, go to Safeway. We're organic.' I finally bought a small cake and some strawberries and then at the check stand, the guy was like 'You didn't bring your own bag? I need to charge you if you didn't bring your own bag.' It was like a 'Portlandia skit.' They were so snotty and arrogant."
"There's a line of research showing that when people can pat themselves on the back for their moral behavior, they can become self-righteous."
"I've noticed a lot of organic foods are marketed with moral terminology, like Honest Tea, and wondered if you exposed people to organic food, if it would make them pat themselves on the back for their moral and environmental choices. I wondered if they would be more altruistic or not."

Finally, the groups were asked to take place in a morality judgement. According to MSNBC, Kendall stated:

"We found that the organic people judged much harder compared to the control or comfort food groups. On a scale of 1 to 7, the organic people were like 5.5 while the controls were about a 5 and the comfort food people were like a 4.89."
"People may feel like they've done their good deed. That they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on. It's like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar."

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