Organic food consumers less likely to help others

Finally, an argument against all those hippies harassing us about how much better organic food is than the “pesticide filled, labor insulting, animal torturing trash” we eat. Alas, everything is not what it seems and organic food isn’t necessarily better than food grown from conventional methods nowadays.

Courtesy of Zabdiel/ Wikimedia Commons

According to recent studies, organic produce is only 33 percent less likely to contain pesticide residues. Neither conventional nor organic produce contains pesticide levels high enough to cause concern. Organic food may be grown with more natural processes, but that doesn’t mean that organic food is more nutritious, as has been so often assumed.

The only significant difference in organic food is that organic milk and chicken do contain more healthy fatty acids that have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. But overall there is no substantial evidence that organic food and produce are healthier or more nutritional than food and produce grown by conventional methods.

Courtesy of Jack Newton/ Wikimedia Commons

There is however, a study that suggests eating organic food can turn you into a conceited hipster. Apparently tricking yourself into believing that you’re doing society a service by eating organic food means your moral compass might be slightly off. Organic food eaters may pick up the tendency to congratulate themselves on their food selection and look down on those who don’t share what they consider to be a more ecofriendly diet.

“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,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Kendall J. Eskine said.  Organic food eaters were less likely to volunteer their time to help strangers than those who do not eat organic food, as if their decision to eat organic food exempted them from social responsibility. If there were a moral quota, they’d believe they filled it because the chicken they ate was cage-free.

Courtesy of Joe Mabel/ Wkimedia Commons

In a paradoxical way, the snobby attitude people adopted when they took the organic lifestyle backfired. Instead of making others more aware of the issues in the food industry, it just gave the consumers a sense of fulfillment to the point where they were actually less helpful than normal people. It seems organic food enthusiasts need to extend their moral superiority to all aspects of their lives, and not just their refrigerators.

School, major and year: A&S, Economics, 2015
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