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TIME: Does Organic Food Turn You into a Jerk? (Short answer: yes)
The Atlantic: Does Organic Food Make You a Judgmental Jerk? Maybe
Jezebel: Study Suggests that Eating Organic Foods Contributes to Moral Depravity
Pacific Standard: Get Stressed, Stop Organics, Become A Better Person

I somehow missed it in May when it made the rounds, but the TIME piece came up in a Facebook conversation the other day, just after I had written about bad health reporting and chicken nuggets. So I was primed. Just seeing the headline I knew. I knew. I knew it was going to be another article with a linkbait headline and an over interpreted the study. That turned out to be the best case scenario.

My two questions when reading an article like this are:

"Did the study even demonstrate what the journalist says it says?"
and
"Did the study even test it's own hypothesis in any meaningful way?" (hint: the answer is almost always in the controls)

You can take a guess what happened.

And a new study shows that organic foodies’ humane regard for the well-being of animals makes some people rather snobbish. The report, published last week in the Journal of Social Psychological & Personality Science, notes that exposure to organic foods can “harshen moral judgments.” Which, to us, sounds like a nice way of saying that organic-food seekers are arrogant.

. . . Eskine and his team showed research subjects photographs of food, ranging from überorganic fruits and vegetables to fattening brownies and baked goods. He then gauged the primed eaters’ moral fiber with stories that warranted judgment, like one about a lawyer who lurks in an ER to try to persuade patients to sue for their injuries.

Reacting to the events on a numbered scale, the organic-food participants were more judgmental than those in the comfort-food category. They were also more reluctant when asked to volunteer time to help strangers, the study found, offering only 13 minutes vs. the brownie eaters’ 24 minutes. It’s like the group had already fulfilled its moral-justice quota by buying organic, so it felt all right slacking off in other ethics-based situations. Eskine labeled it “moral licensing."

The writer, Nick Carbone has told us that people who seek organic food are arrogant and snobbish. Is that what the study he has described shows? No. It shows that anybody, not just organic shoppers can become more judgmental and stingy when exposed to pictures of organic food. It shows that it is the exposure to images of food that triggers this, not "organic foodies’ humane regard for the well-being of animals."

This would be an interesting observation, if it had been demonstrated in the literature that organic shoppers were in fact more judgmental and stingier. It would provide a clue as to causality. But the entire underlying premise is never addressed. It's not like there is no literature on the subject. Or that you can't find any research to support the premise. No one even tried. Not even the authors of the paper.

The paper references the literature on how different foods can effect people's moral bearings. But it does not look at the literature on the moral or ethical attitudes of organic consumers in order to establish the premise that organic consumers are be more judgmental and stingy. The hypothesis they are testing is that exposure to images of organic food could influence people's levels of empathy. Do they even succeed at that? I would say, No.

First let's look at what the study did.

Sixty-two Loyola University undergraduates (37 females, 25 males) participated in the present experiment for course credit and were randomly assigned to one of three food conditions (organic, comfort, control) in a between-subjects design.  Told that they were
participating in two unrelated studies (a consumer research survey about food desirability and a separate moral judgment task), participants were first given a packet containing four counterbalanced pictures of food items from one of the following categories: organic foods with organic food labels (apple, spinach, tomato, carrot), comfort foods (ice cream, cookie, chocolate, brownie), or control foods (oatmeal, rice, mustard, beans).  Participants also rated each food item on a 7-point scale (1 = not at all desirable to 7 = very desirable) to help
corroborate the cover story as well as provide information about their personal food preferences.

. . . Participants next received a packet containing six counterbalanced moral transgressions describing second cousins engaging in consensual incest, a man eating his already-dead dog, a congressman accepting bribes, a lawyer prowling hospitals for victims, a person shoplifting, and a student stealing library books.  Each moral judgment was indicated on a 7-point scale (1= not at all morally wrong to 7 = very morally wrong). As with previous research (Eskine et al., 2011), all judgments were averaged into a single score.  
 After next answering demographic questions, participants were told “that another professor from another department is also conducting research and really needs volunteers.”  They were informed that they would not receive course credit or compensation for their help and were asked to indicate how many minutes (out of 30) they would be willing to volunteer."

The results:
"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." The organic people also only offered to volunteer for a mere 13 minutes, as compared with the control group's 19-minute offer and the happy comfort-food group's 24-minute commitment.
Before we move on to why they fail to test their hypothesis, I want to highlight a missed opportunity in their use of the data. If they really wanted to show something about organic consumers specifically and not just Loyola undergrads in general, they would have calculated the correlation between the strength of subjects' preference for organic foods and and their response to the moral challenges. That might have told us something about organic consumers' moral orientations. But they didn't and it wouldn't have mattered anyway, since there were no controls in this experiment to begin with.

Wait, what about the control group of oatmeal, rice, mustard and beans? Those were meant as a control in a comparison to organic fruits and vegetable vs. non-organic desserts. That would be fine if there was one variable of moral superiority, organic versus non-organic, but there are two, the other being fruits and vegetables versus desserts. As the test was designed, we have no way of knowing whether is was the moral halo of fruits and vegetable or the moral halo of organic that produced the result.  And as anyone who has ever shopped at Trader Joe's can tell you, produce isn't the only type of organic food. There are plenty of organic desserts and snacks. In fact, organic junk food is a bigger segment of the organic market than produce.

If it had those proper controls, we could compare the difference in response between an organic carrot and a conventional carrot. We could compare the difference between organic oatmeal and conventional apple. But as designed, we can't compare anything meaningful.

The correct comparison would have been organic produce vs. conventional produce, organic neutral foods vs. conventional neutral foods and organic desserts vs. conventional desserts. If those had been the categories, if they had calculated the correlation of preference for organic with moral response and the study group had been larger than 62 students it might have told us something interesting but it didn't.

The study took about five minutes to read and about 8 seconds to see the flaws. The fact that these poorly designed, under powered studies are reported on at all drives me crazy. It's even more infuriating that they are misrepresented instead of debunked. The fact that they absolutely litter the health sections of reputable publications is all the more maddening because interesting and significant papers are routinely ignored.

But before we let organic consumers off the hook too fast, note that the first commenter on the TIME version of the story went out of her way to make Eskine's point.

To label people that eat organic food as "Jerks" is completely ridiculous. I am a proud supporter of organic food and will be till the day that i die. Calling someone a jerk because they eat organic food is childish. There is one thing that this article did get right about the organic community. We do congratulate ourselves for our moral and environmental decisions, because we are doing the right thing. Choosing all organic foods shows that you care about your health and the environment.
You can't make this stuff up.

Lit References:
Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments | Kendall J. Eskine | 2013
Final draft [pdf]
Organic purchasing motivations and attitudes: are they ethical? | M.G. McEachern, P. McClean | 2002
The relationship between high-fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease | M Kratz, T Baars, S Guyenet

[Cross posted at REALFOOD.ORG]

Originally posted to REALFOOD.ORG on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 04:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Organic eaters are jerks, (14+ / 0-)

    Twinkie eaters are murderers,
    and big gulp drinkers are freedom-lovers.

    All equally true.

    Thanks for the intelligent analysis of our corporate and mainstream media incompetence/ignorance on health and food reporting.

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 04:25:03 PM PDT

    •  The various state attempts to require GMO labeling (11+ / 0-)

      have caused shoppers to be more aware of pesticide residue, lack of testing of GMO food, etc. This, among other reasons is causing shoppers to purchase more organic food. This uptrend has been going on for several years, despite the poor economy. The grocery industry is not happy and neither are Big Ag and the pesticide and chemical industries. Hence the widespread dissemination by MSM of these flawed and stupid studies that "prove" exactly the superficial conclusions that serve the advertisers that support the MSM. Typical tobacco-industry time-tested BS. They probably even know they're going to lose eventually, but want to play out the clock to maximize the profits on their intellectual property until they need to jettison the failed GE technology.

      •  Big ag can do organic just as easily as a family (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        O112358, marc brazeau, kyril

        farmer.

        Moreover, organic food costs more and often has higher margins.

        So why shouldn't Big Ag absolutely love this trend?

        •  Monsanto. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tle, Zack from the SFV

          "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

          by Bisbonian on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 06:31:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If organic became (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril

            a big deal,

            you can betcha Monsanto would find a way to major profit from it.

            You deeply underestimate Monsanto's devotion to profit above all else.

            They will still find a way to "kick your puppy" and make billions while doing it.

            My guess right now, out of the $1.00 you spend more on organic strawberries.  $.05 on average goes to Monsanto et al in EXTRA profits.

            Monsanto personified right now probably would look something like this

            http://images.wikia.com/...

            when thinking about customers being willing to pay MORE for food.

             

        •  Here May Be Why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calvino Partigiani
          Big ag can do organic just as easily as a family farmer.

          Moreover, organic food costs more and often has higher margins.

          So why shouldn't Big Ag absolutely love this trend?

          To fully describe "big ag," you need to include those who supply big ag that's practicing conventional ag with pesticides, synthetic fertilizer (much derived from 'big oil,' and the related equipment, plus all of the incentives that big ag gets from the USDA to continue practicing conventional agriculture.

          So, not so easy, plus additional retraining would be required for big ag to practice organic methods. You know how rural folks resist change.

          I condemn alike that individualism that would allow the state no room for industrial activity, and that socialism which would absorb in the state the functions of the individual. -Richard Theodore Ely

          by paz3 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:41:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But most organic production (4+ / 0-)

            already is Big Organic. In terms of volume of production or dollars of value the vast majority of organic is things like canned tomatoes and soy, wheat and sugar for processed organic convenience foods.

            There isn't just one single Big Ag or Big Food, so while some suppliers of inputs would lose out, other big players stand to gain.

            •  Sounds Like An Editor Said, "Ya know, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoenix Woman

              Sounds like an editor said, "Ya know, there have been all these stories about the rapid growth of organic vegetable gardening. Nobody wants to read another one. See what you can rustle up that shoots down organic food. Haven't the Big Ag boys funded any studies?"

              And the Big Time Professional Journalist Who Wants To Keep His Job said, "Yeah, another by-line!!"

              A Southerner in Yankeeland

              To save your life and our country, read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

              by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:52:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  The conundrum is if you don't each organic (8+ / 0-)

    foods, what do you do?

    Eat silicon-based foodstuffs?

  •  These studies prove yet again (5+ / 0-)

    that psychologists are a waste of ATP.

  •  What a load of old codswallop (11+ / 0-)

    One day my local rag, The WaPo, ran a piece entitled "5 Myths about Organic Food" or some such thing, and it was so filled with specious arguments and stupidity that I've never read the "5 Myths" feature since.

    I don't know if these people grow it in the back yard and smoke it or brew it over a Bunsen burner and drink it, but they're on something.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:38:15 PM PDT

    •  You notice how these types of articles (4+ / 0-)

      completely ignore sustainability issues and global climate change.

      Some people eat organic because of concerns for their body. Some of us eat it because of concerns for the planet.

      Funny how that second group is never mentioned. But then I remember the articles and rumors about people who owned hybrid vehicles being accused of feeling smug.

      Like I give a flying rats ass--you can be a total asshole for all I care, if you do your part to help reduce a carbon footprint.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:33:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do suspect lefty types seem smug in general. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bisbonian, GreenMother, LilPeach

        Most people seem to judge others as "smug" or "arrogant" when they go against the group and are confident in their decisions. Pro-conformity psychological bias of some sort, probably.

        Ironically, empirical measures of humility are associated with the left--hence the entitlement issues of people like the Kochs.

        Patriotism is another word for nationalism. Nationalism is another word for bigotry.

        by Selphinea on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 03:05:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Go on ignoring the "5 Myths" articles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      I gave up on them after I began reading the backgrounds of the authors as presented at the bottom of the page (it always pays to read the fine print). They're generally partisans with specific agenda in the debates on which the features pretend to be neutral. I know the conventional media are infected with the "get both sides" nonsense, but it's not like they're even doing that. They're simply handing the microphone off to one half of the argument and letting them run away with it.

      Radarlady

  •  Time Magazine may as well have cited this as an (3+ / 0-)

    example of a vegan: Ron Burgundy. Such rigorous journalism.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 06:48:53 PM PDT

  •  You can't expect science reporters to know science (8+ / 0-)

    I mean, c'mon. These are journalists. You put someone at the science desk and they are supposed to put their stamp on the latest piece of research and file it for their publication.

    The very idea that they might question the authors about it, ask about control groups, and point out potential flaws gets in the way of sensational headlines. Right?

    Oh, wait... If several reporters on different science beats know something about the scientific method and start raising questions about a study, might that not also generate headlines? And then there is the comeback response by the authors which might clear things up. Or if not, they may have to go back to the drawing board. That would be three interesting headlines. Especially the one whereby science reporters, demonstrating that an experiment was flawed, and where their questions shut the results of that study down.

    But hey, our modern media doesn't have the wherewithal to pay our science reporters to do investigative journalism, does it?

  •  It's just a couple articles that reinforce stereot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    types that everyone has run into at one time or another. Statistics are just window dressing.

    Vegetarianism and environmentalists are terms loaded with negative conotations. Just the way it is.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 07:25:14 PM PDT

    •  That came from the lack of a Wilson's law (0+ / 0-)

      way back in the day. When the street preachers and televangelicals would drone on and on about how only Nazis were non-smokers and vegetarians, and all environmentalists were swinging stoned hippies who were probably also vegetarians--and we all know what that means.

      snark

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Negative connotations if you are a paid shill (0+ / 0-)

      or a conformist who gets his attitudes from Fox News. The whole culture wars thing is total bullshit. I have heard the pitch how environmentalism is bad because it takes focus away from JOBS (this is from the right), or it's a distraction from protesting wars (from the far left).  
      Sorry, I have to make decisions every day. Should I drive all over town or put all my trips together? Should I support local farmers? Should I support pumping out the aquifers and covering the land with petroleum based fertilizers and pesticides? YOU HAVE TO MAKE A DECISION. Not making a decision is a decision. Anything can be turned into an OCD. That does not mean that you should not act responsibly.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:43:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think of myself as far left and I'd say the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marc brazeau

        environment is far more important than any normal human war could be. In fact, one of the biggest risks of war is environmental damage (nuclear war sequelae, for example), and environment is often a major contributor to war (resource wars, etc.).

        I still think class warfare is a bigger immediate issue than the environment, but that's partly because the bourgeoisie won't let us fix the environment, so...

        Patriotism is another word for nationalism. Nationalism is another word for bigotry.

        by Selphinea on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 05:32:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There may be something to this (3+ / 0-)

    but I know plenty of jerks who don't eat organic food....and organic food CERTAINLY came first.

  •  Do I understand this correctly? (8+ / 0-)

    They randomly assigned students to look at photos of different types of food, and posit a correlation between those who looked at photos of organic food and people who actually eat organic food but were not in the study?

    I am not a scientist and have never done research like that, but it doesn't make sense to me.

  •  "Serious" magazines on a George Wallace bandwagon? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, Calvino Partigiani, radarlady

    It's just George Wallace's 1960s stump speech about "pointy-headed [librul] professors who can't park a bicycle straight" applied to nutrition.

    Spiro Agnew was good at that kind of phony populist appeal too.

    It gets old.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 08:14:11 PM PDT

  •  The only people who I've ever dealt with who were (4+ / 0-)

    morally superior about their food were college age trust-fund vegans.

    I don't blame the veganism there, though I do think that if you adopt eating practices that are out of the mainstream in any way in any culture, you wind up being disruptive/problematic to any number of things the culture considers important.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:14:55 PM PDT

  •  Doing a little research.... (11+ / 0-)

    Doesn't it seem odd that a small, poorly designed study immediately hits the headlines of several large publications? Let's ask some questions.

         (1) Who benefits from the study? Like maybe Coca-Cola and McDonalds?

         (2) Do corporations who benefit from the study buy ads from the mainstream publications who published the articles?

         (3) Are editors and publishers eager to please large advertisers?

    No, I don't have a tinfoil hat. Really don't. It wouldn't fit under the helmet.

  •  Organic eaters are stingier? (4+ / 0-)

    Hell yea, when I pay 9 or 10 bucks for a bag of apples, damn straight we are going to EAT all those apples or cook them. And I share them with people I deem special or in need.

    With organic, you can't afford to waste food.

    That's not being a jerk, that is learning how much it really costs to grow, process and market edible food that is sustainable or at least more sustainable than the crap on the shelves in most stores

    Diabetes in a box, just add water. Be sure and save up for your dialysis treatments--here have some more Sodium with that pound of sugar in your big gulp.

    Really--I think that Organic Food makes big food producers JERKS because it forces them to compete on a level they aren't used to. Healthful Quality.

    And for the record, I have a guilty nostalgic love for twinkies and soda pop--however I resent the big food pushers for making sugar--mostly corn syrup and sodium into the 5th and 6th food groups---although it looks like Glyphosphate and Neonicotinoids might well be 7th and 8th at this point.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 09:26:40 PM PDT

  •  I believe it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm, marc brazeau, kyril

    Check Mother Jones any given Sunday. It's a pile on fest of people parading how they're organic or vegans and screeching at you because you like aspartame and a bacon burger.

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/ Jesus Loves You. Keep pointing out others. You're most likely the problem.

    by DAISHI on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:14:26 PM PDT

  •  I guess I'm one of the snobs... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm, Crider, Kristin in WA

    We shop almost exclusively at our local Co-op except when we buy produce at the farmer's market. I want the best food for my body and my kids. I guess I'm a bit smug about it and am gonna go out of my way if I have to. I'm also going to share my knowledge of the benefits of organics, such as reducing exposure to chemical load. My wife is a vegetarian and my boys and I don't eat that much meat. It's not that we think animals have any special rights. One episode of Wild Kingdom (ok, I've dated myself) will show you a lot of nature is eat or be eaten. But I don't think factory farming is as safe. Exposure to e coli, et al, and the treatment of the HUMANS who work there is not that good. I don't want to support that type of agriculture. We don't hide that fact and I'm okay with that. But I don't think I'm a dick about it. And is that any different than the Apple/iPhone crowd (yeah I'm one of those too but I don't wait in lines) or the Boston Red Sox crowd (I'm not one of those) or any other sort of brand loyalty psychology?

    But back to organics: Here is my beef - Used to be that the only food there was was free-range, organics. Only since the last 100 years with nitrogen fixing fertilizers and petroleum based pesticides has there been some different. I hope for a day when "organics" are the "normal" food and all the other food get the descriptive modifier. We would have something like "food" and "synthetic food."  That's why the GMO labeling issue is important. There should be "food" and "GMO-food." Not "food" and "non-GMO Food."

    BTW, I'm not necessarily against all GMO food. If a plant can be engineered to grow in poor soil that might be a good thing. If plant is engineered so only one company can control the seed or to make it resistant to pesticides so we can spray more, I don't think I want that.

    Thanks for the diary and calling this out.

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time. John Robinette: hole-in-the-sun.com : twitter @hole_in_the_sun

    by JayRo on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 04:18:09 AM PDT

  •  and you linked to the paper! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm, ban nock, marc brazeau

    YES! YES! YES! YES! THANNK YOUUU!!!!

    This is why I find myself screaming when people report, here and everywhere, on science stuff and link to a freaking press release! Because almost every time, when I go and acquire and read the actual study for myself, I find myself going "did that reporter read the paper because what they wrote is not what it said."

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 04:24:07 AM PDT

    •  happens all the time in big name papers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, marc brazeau

      NYT, Wapo, LA Times, Sac Bee is legendary.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 06:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  big name papers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marc brazeau, Selphinea

        blog posts. It happens here at daily kos all the time and is a major irritant of mine.

        There are a few science journos who actually do read the paper---even if they don't link it. I can tell because I almost always follow up and find the study for myself. FishOutOfWater always links to the study when he writes. It's why he's one of the few good science writers here.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

        by terrypinder on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:04:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  linking to a study to argue a point is only (0+ / 0-)

          arguing. I can find a peer reviewed study to show just about anything. What I like to see is the preponderance of scientific thinking on a subject, or else the use of qualifiers like "maybe, seems to suggest, as far as we know, etc" Or links to studies showing alternative views.

          On subjects I know there are two Universities cranking out peer reviewed articles subsequently disproved or thrown into doubt. When I see a scientist is from there and if the study is on the subject, I know what it will be before I read.

          Late here, many miles to walk to get where I'm going today.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:57:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I just re-read this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portia Elm, Crider

    and now I'm feeling even more smuggish and jerkish. The behaviors the test subjects were asked to judge (cousin relationships, predatory lawyers, stealing library books, etc.) are not really socially acceptable. I would hope a modern society would not condone those behaviors and I'm glad the organic tribe I self associate with is so morally superior (a little sarcasm there).

    Perhaps if the study had used morally ambiguous behaviors instead (like under-age drinking, or claiming a questionable tax deduction, or driving 10 miles over the speed limit) there would be an interesting conclusion.

    My conclusion of the study, having read it again, is that we judgmental organic produce buying people ARE morally superior to the rest of you.

    So thank you very much!

    Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time. John Robinette: hole-in-the-sun.com : twitter @hole_in_the_sun

    by JayRo on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 04:35:19 AM PDT

    •  So it's okay to condemn something just because it (0+ / 0-)

      isn't socially acceptable, even if there's no victim?

      That kind of social cohesion-focused thinking is the basis of drug laws, homophobia, and the glass ceiling. You're really okay with that?

      Patriotism is another word for nationalism. Nationalism is another word for bigotry.

      by Selphinea on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 05:57:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh dear. (0+ / 0-)

      "morally superior" is simply not an objective term, so...that's a huge problem with the study.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:38:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  LOLOLOLOLOL (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, LilPeach, shmuelman

    Wow, this is just another attempt to shame people into line with the corporate industrialized age.  Like when I was a kid, having high standards was snobbish, and like as a woman, having an opinion or a different view made me a bitch.  I am now laughing to myself, as I do not have diabetes, hypertension or cancer like the rest of my family who tried to shame me into eating like they did.  I am not taking any pharmaceuticals, I have found a doctor who encourages me to take homeopathics because they work well for me.   The world is changing, even though it does not sound like it in the hack journalist paid propagandist media.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6uA76vYDM

    by Portia Elm on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 04:39:56 AM PDT

  •  I'm a jerk and a snob (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marc brazeau, shmuelman, melo

    And I mostly don't eat organic! I resent the association this author is trying to effect.

  •  I love that "no literature" link. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marc brazeau
    Page 2 of 400,000 results

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:37:15 AM PDT

  •  What about organic brownies? (0+ / 0-)

    The entire premise is flawed.
    Show subjects an organic apple and a factory farmed apple, or better yet, a vine ripened organic tomato and a prematurely red chemically treated tomato, and see who chooses which.

    Maybe people who chose healthier food are more judgmental than those who do not, but that is an entirely different concept.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:35:13 AM PDT

  •  There are food police out there (0+ / 0-)

    So I tend to agree that there are some organic/vegan types that can be very judgmental of people who don't share their beliefs/practices.  

    I also agree the studies cited in the articles are so: small, poorly replicated or otherwise poorly designed that is ridiculous to draw broad conclusions about the participants.  

    I am a vendor at the Palafox Farmers Market in Pensacola, Florida and I work very hard to provide quality, pesticide free mushrooms, wild collected berries, fruits, and herbs to my clientele.  The majority of our customers just want to eat healthier and buy products that do not originate in cruel factory farmed conditions.  I tend to associate their lifestyles with the happy, friendly, intelligent customers I deal with on a weekly basis.  

    But let me provide and an example of the judgmental type.   I wrote a book about feral pigs (hunting, ecological impact, other control methods)  that was published by the University of Alabama Press. The first two copy editors the general editor approached, declined to work on my manuscript because they were vegetarians!  

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:36:25 AM PDT

  •  If the study had been able to demonstrate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    its purported conclusion, the first explanation that would come to my mind is simply that people who tend to be all-around judgmental also tend to be judgmental about things like food.

    Also, people who have a tendency to assign moral qualities of good/evil to individual foods or types of food are a) likely to have rather rigid or authoritarian personalities and b) likely to be disproportionately represented among people who adopt out-of-the-perceived-mainstream dietary habits for non-hedonistic reasons.

    Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

    by ebohlman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:18:55 AM PDT

  •  Organic food, animal welfare makes you a snob? (0+ / 0-)
    “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, assistant professor of the psychological sciences department at Loyola University in New Orleans, told NBC’s Today show.

    Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/...

    What about Rick-fucking-Santorum and the entire Republican Party? This Time magazine article is saying, really, that it is morally superior to be morally inferior. That it is better not to give a shit about anything so you won't become"snobbish." Quite working out, having a tight butt makes you think you are better than hyper-obese people in spandex. STOOOOOPID!

    No wonder these magazines are going down the tubes.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 10:33:03 AM PDT

  •  These people are nuts (0+ / 0-)

    Everybody wants to have an excuse for being too lazy to check into what they are eating.  It's abominable.

    The "invisible hand" doesn't regulate the market - it wanks it. -- SantaFeMarie

    by Dinclusin on Sat Oct 26, 2013 at 01:04:41 AM PDT

  •  Nicely Done (0+ / 0-)

    A good read  - Thanks

    I teach middle school science , I think my students could learn about setting up a proper experiment and getting valid reseults from reading this post.

    Thanks Again

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