Today, there is a social stigma surrounding organic food. It isn’t necessarily in the food itself, but in its die-hard fans. Foodies and “eco-friendly” people often have a reputation for being arrogant, or snobs. While it doesn’t exactly help that stores like Whole Foods typically sprout in the more affluent neighborhoods, it’s quite possible that some of this stigma is unwarranted. Surely a desire for healthier food doesn’t always equate to a more arrogant attitude.
In a study conducted by Kendall Eskine, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University, subjects were shown images of food and subsequently asked to judge a series of hypothetical situations on a scale from 1 to 10. The subjects were divided into three groups. The first was shown pictures of clearly marked organic food. The second was presented with images of unhealthy comfort foods. The third was shown “neutral” food. All the groups were presented with the same scenarios, including the possibility of second cousins engaging in coitus. The organic group gave the highest scored—an average of 5.5.
The test seems rather skewed. First of all, it doesn’t say that people who buy organic food are more judgmental. Instead, it says that the people they made look at pictures of organic food were judgmental. Yet, two different newspapers reported on it as though it had some insight. If we really want to measure the snobbery of organic food connoisseurs, we should make survey the people themselves. A table outside a Whole Foods might work spectacularly.