A new study shows that folks who frequently buy, eat, or advocate for organics are more snotty and judgmental than folks with less exposure to organic food.
To be honest I have seen this in some cases, but now it’s officially documented – not good news for organic advocates. The claim that organic food turns people into jerks stems from a new study published this week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Study author, Kendall Eskine, assistant professor of the department of psychological sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans, tells Health on Today, “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.” Eskine also points out that lots of organic products are marketed with moral terminology, like Honest Tea, which may be part of the problem.
The study found out the following:
- Organic advocates judge others harder than people who mainly stick to conventional or comfort food groups.
- Organic advocates are more selfish, volunteering less than their peers.
- Study results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities.
Eskine notes that maybe exposure to organic food makes people feel better about themselves, which in turn may give them a bigger license to act unethically. Eskine compares it to going to the gym, noting, “It’s like when you run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar.”
I get it. The “I’m better than you” attitude isn’t exclusive to green living advocates, but is very relevant. After ten or so years of trying to live greener, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it all…
- “I’d never give my kid non-organics!“
- “Are you really going to buy that plastic toy?!“
- “I can’t believe that mom at play group bought Bert’s Bees instead of Earth Mama Angel Baby.“
- “Chemicals have never touched my child!“
And on and on. Tree huggers can be an outstandingly annoying bunch. Luckily, I don’t believe this is true across the board. Sure I’ve met jerk organic advocates, but I’ve also met well-balanced, nice organic advocates.
I try to be nice about green living, organics especially, because it’s a sensitive issue for many. I also really try to make sure that everyone knows I’m not perfect, because one, you win more love and advocacy with honey and two, no one is perfect. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no such thing as perfect green living. People who act holy green are flat out scamming you.
The next time you run into an organic advocate who is acting like a jerk, it might be wise to speak up. Tell the individual that they’re harming, not helping the organic cause. For more tips read: 10 sane tips for a green, safe and happy life.
Do you think organic advocates are ruder than other people? Let me know in the comments.
Images by Flickr Users: Br3nda; WordRidden