Does Organic Produce and Living Green Turn People into Jerks?
Does concern for the planet turn some people into self righteous jerks? It’s possible.You may have heard Rush Limbaugh talking about this story. Last week, MSN.com ran a story about a Seattle woman who wanted to buy a fruit platter at an organic market.
Renate Raymond told this story.
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,” says the 40-year-old arts administrator from Seattle. “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.
A new study published last week in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science says that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods.
Kendall Erskine, assistant professor of the department of psychological sciences at Loyola University in New Orleans says that “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.”
Personally, I know several people that own hybrid vehicles. Most of them are retired and are up front saying that being on a reduced income and dealing with high gas prices was there prime motivation for puchasing such transportion.
However, I have also run across at least one person who could fit Professor Erskine’s description when it comes to “green” transportation.
When gas prices were on the rise a few years ago, this person bought one of the small Smart Cars. Maybe it was to save on fuel costs, but this person’s underlying motivation was to prove that they were smarter and superior than the rest of us. And we heard about it every day, believe me.
Does being concerned about the planet have to turn us into jerks? Maybe it’s only in America.