Does Organic Food Turn People into Jerks?

Organic Food

Photo: Missvain (CC)

Writes Diane Mapes on TODAY Health:

Renate Raymond has encountered her fair share of organic food snobs, but a recent trip to a Seattle market left her feeling like she’d stumbled onto the set of Portlandia.

“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.”

As it turns out, new research has determined that a judgmental attitude may just go hand in hand with exposure to organic foods. In fact, a new study published this week in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, has found that organic food may just make people act a bit like jerks…

Read More on TODAY Health

  • Anon

    They LOOKED at organic food?!

    So this doesn’t consider whether the person actually eats organic food ?

    Seems like you could also claim that people who DON’T eat organic food are jerks.

  • Okarin

    it’s all through mainstream point of view, as through mainstream pov disinfo turns people in conspiracy nuts

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Perhaps it’s because the people that can afford to buy exclusively organic food are also rich or the ever prevelant “wannabee” rich types who get annoyed with the ignorant masses.

  • I eat fish

    I was at trader joes yesterday and asked the cashier if they had roasted garlic in olive oil I a friend had found in another trader joes store. He replied in a ton no and  if they did ever have, it was a long time ago, and followed by saying that (in a even more arrogant tone) its really easy to roast you own garlic… So i counter  him by saying that its not really easy to find TIME to roast your own garlic in my own arrogant tone. When i said that his face changed and he dropped a few of my items on the floor while scanning , I dont think on purpose but i think out of shock lol and then started making small talk with me. I dont find that all the people that eat organic turn into jerks but I find that some store clerks do, maybe because they feel they are over qualified for the job or shear pride. One thing i know that pisses people off is that they have to pay premium price, spending money pisses people off. I like trader joes here in my town even tho the clerks can be a little bit too casual for my taste, but whole foods is snob heaven and the food there is truly over priced, I feel strange going in there so i usually never do plus I dont like the store setup up and they make me feel like organic food is a close guarded secret. Maybe subconsciously they do want lower classes diverting funds to real good in fear of a shortage or increase in performance and intelligence in lower classes, just a theory.

    • I eat fish

      new smaller home theater keyboard. Overlook the typos you organic eating trolls

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      Go to a farmer’s market. The organic food there is much cheaper.

  • EarthGuy

    Remember when everything was organic? Some people act like it’s some kinda scientific breakthrough. 

    • Malk

      seriously… calling stuff “organic” just turns it into the Prada of the supermarket. Some people get snobby because they think they’re part of a special group, or they think they’re more worthy of breathing oxygen because they consume less chemicals and think that somehow relates to them saving the Earth even though they aren’t actually doing anything. It’s an ego game like any other and comes from every imaginable source. Humans are ego monsters and it has nothing to do with the food they eat, or this authors small and sheltered experience.

      • Debbymccabe

        It isn’t an ego game!  Silly thing to say really.  We’re just more interested in putting  good fuel into our bodies unlike the majority of the population in the Western world.  My grocery cart is filled with green and red and yellow foods whereas everyone else seems to settle for browns and cans and boxes.  And the only reason organic is the ‘Prada’ of the supermarket is because we’re getting charged outrageous prices for stuff that is guaranteed to not be genetically modified and again, we pay the price because we’re interested in trying to be as healthy as possible in order to hopefully avoid heart disease, cancer, obesity……

        • Malk

           you’re absolutely right. I’m sorry that isn’t what I was trying to say.

          For the random odd number of people that do become jerks about their food selection it is an ego game; not for everyone that is health conscious. I live in the mountains of Japan, so there’s plenty of fresh local veggies, but there isn’t actual regulation over what’s been sprayed or not, it’s just kind of assumed… well for starters a lot of stuff you can get easy in the states is illegal over here, but ya…

          Labeling stuff… I mean you have to or else the people that want it can’t find it… I just wish they would call strawberries strawberries, and chemically doused hormone induced strawberries what they are; then we wouldn’t have a need to term stuff “organic.”

          I’m big into spiritual study/”woo woo” science, aliens and all that jazz, and there are plenty of jerks of the exact same manner. People that think they’re way better than you because they’ve read SO many books on how to be a nice person……….

          the jerks are all on ego-trips whatever the flavor.
          just because someone wants to eat healthy and buys organic foods it does not mean they’re on that ego-trip.

      • Chaorder Gradient

        you know, technically humans consuming bunches of chemicals, while worse for themselves, may end up helping the environment in the long haul rather than dumping it directly into the ocean. I wonder if greenies ever thought of that.

  • tvremix


    I was actually just thinking yesterday that my local farmers market and organic grocery co-op are like two of the happiest places on earth.  Everyone there is downright sunshine and rainbows.  On the other hand, go absorb the misery that exudes from the grocery sections of your many local Wal-Marts and Targets.

    • zombieslapper

      Fake! Nobody’s miserable at Target.

  • samthemaniam

    This sounds like another thinly guised attempt to discredit organic food to me… I eat organics – so do a lot of my friends because I don’t want to eat a ton of chemicals with my food …and there’s definitely nothing rich or snobby about any of us. .. we’re a happy healthy well balanced bunch of people enjoying life….

    • I eat fish

      you guys are jerks

  • Stephanie Buday

    I think it depends on where you’re at. I’ve been to some organic stores that are very snooty, but most places the store clerks (and many of the customers) are very nice and helpful. I was at a farmer’s market in the ritzier side of town last year and the people there were very different than the ones I normally encounter at other markets. They dressed up for vegetable shopping. Quite a few of the women acted snobby and entitled making demands with cell phones glued to their ears (stereotyping themselves rather effectively). Given that there are also studies out there to correlate a lack of empathy with affluence, I have to wonder if the people running this study looked at the economic standing of the people. Organics are far more expensive than conventional grown foods, people of higher economic standing buy organics in greater amount that those that don’t. Of course there are always those people out there that are simply jerks no matter what they eat or how much money they make.

  • Marley Greiner

    The deadbeat at my house who “can’t” work only eats organic and only drinks “non-poisoned ” drinks and water.  I’m OK with that, except since he wont’ work,and  he expect me to pay for it, which I refuse.  At this point, though it’s totally out of control.  He’ll wash his clothes in my washer, but won’t take the clothes out because the damp clothing will kill him..  Same with showers.  He stands in the bathtub and pours a gallon of unfiltered water over his heat.   I recently had a problem with my gas line.  He couldn’t heat water on the stove so he took a big pot across the street and heated his filtered water there.  If he’d heated it here in the microwave ,he’d die.

    • I eat fish

      i think you got a case of neurosis there…

      • Malk

         ya dude, why is this person in your house?….

        • Monkey See Monkey Do

          It’s his alter ego.

      • Marley Greiner

        It’s the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  If one questions any of us we’re a4re demed dupes of the CIA or worse. I used to enjoy conspiracy theory.

        • Chaorder Gradient

          The big conspiracy is that its designed to turn conspiracy nuts into — that guy

  • muad diball

    lol..whose to say even the snotty people who eat all organic would be any less snotty eating the standard american diet?

    • Malk


  • Heath

    Who’s to say what atrocities were committed on any soil base in any city any farm land. If you aren’t in control of the growing environment most likely you are buying into the trend. Chances are there’s a snob above the snob and so on.. :)

  • JoiquimCouteau

    Transitively, eating neurotoxic [***]-cides and fertilizer residue must make people less jerks. 

    • Debbymccabe

       That’s only because their brains have been turned to mush by the poisons and GMO’s that they so liberally consume!  They are like zombies.

  • Benjamin Mulroney

    does organic food turn people into jerks, or does being a jerk attract people to organic food???

  • zombieslapper

    Eh, if you really wanna see some jerks go to any small record or book store on the “hip” side of town without your piercings in or tattoos showing.

    • Malk

       exactly. same problem, different flavor. there’s a million to choose from.

  • mole_face

    People like to call health food freaks the snobs, but I’ve encountered way more shithead attitudes from people who eat badly. Diet’s a personal choice, so I don’t brag about my healthy lifestyle or comment on how other people treat their bodies – but at jobs, I’ve been relentlessly made fun of for weeks on end just because my subhuman white trash coworkers spotted me in the break room eating fruit and other “liberal” foods with my lunch. I think on some level, those sorts of decrepit misshapen mutants just feel defensive about the fact that they’re slowly poisoning themselves.

    • teachpeace

       A family member of mine has the same challenges at work, she’s a vegetarian.
      She is singled out and constantly asked “what’s wrong with you?”
      I wish I could count the times she’s been give a gift card to “Ruby River Steak House” by
      these people.

      • Asanisimasa

        i’m assuming you live in the south? 

      • mole_face

        Yeah.. I think the “people who eat health food are snobs” meme is just something that weakminded assholes pick up on to justify discriminating against someone for living a superior lifestyle. The level of abject contempt that these fat fucks harbor toward healthy people makes no sense unless it’s born out of insecurity. I never talk about my lifestyle or try to push it on anyone, and people still go far out of their way to get in my face about it.

        Another example – my coworker, a creepy milk-drinking Mormon who looked like a cross between Rush Limbaugh and a Cabbage Patch doll, asked me what I was drinking. I replied “green tea”. He sneered and with palpable contempt he spit “Oh… so you’re one of THOSE people”, as if I just admitted that I belong to NAMBLA. 

        Meanwhile, the guy looked like he was slowly rotting from the inside out. Enjoy early death, douche!

        • Huh

          Ha! Whatever.. I worked at a Whole Foods for a little while and the people who shopped there were some of the most arrogent faux “liberals” I have ever seen.

    • Sumbitcha

      Subhuman? Mutants? You sound like a fucking snob…

      • Chaorder Gradient

        Its all the same crap. They just use different words for eachother to make them feel like their side is better than the other.

        “You’re a bunch of weakminded asshole sub human white trash  decrepit misshapen shithead fat fucks and need to leave me alone over my superior lifestyle and superior health. But don’t worry, because I don’t brag about it. And I don’t try to push it on you(but i’ll still judge you about it)”

        “Well you’re a bunch of pompous snobby judgmental pussy liberal freaky jerks. Have fun eating your hay, while I’ll be eating this delicious steak with a fried egg on top.”

        • mole_face

          You’re really using my comments as an example of the typical health food freak’s attitude? Hah! I seriously doubt that you’ll find too many health food hippie types talking about setting up concentration camps for hillbillies, or any of the other half-joking stuff I say. I just find it funny and cathartic to express contempt through ultra vicious comments like that. If someone’s going to get in my face about my lifestyle and try to stigmatize me for it, then I’m going to hit back as hard as humanly possible.

          The only reason I have this attitude in the first place is because I live in a small conservative town and the “people” I’m forced to  work with tend to relentlessly get in my face about my diet. Those types justify their behavior by claiming  that people who are into health food have a snobby superior attitude blah blah blah – but I feel like they’re just projecting their own insecure inferiority complex on to us. I’ve never once brought up health food in a conversation at work, and at every job I’ve had these Nascar-hat-wearing cunts come at me with a ridiculous level of bile. And it’s not as if I’m bringing exotic tofu dishes or whatever into the breakroom – I’m talking about being harassed because I was spotted eating a fruit salad on lunch break.

  • Dracon

    propaganda by the industry that makes money by feeding you shit, for sure. “today health” might as well be called “today illth”

    • Chaorder Gradient

      Shit for the body, Shit for the mind.

      -Kraft Foods.

      • Jin The Ninja

        lol. amen.

  • Bobbie Jean Pentecost

    This is so massively stupid and that study is complete BS. Just because it’s in a study doesn’t make it true. I guaran-fucking-tee you that if any other scientists gave a shit about this nonsense, they could debunk it in 3 minutes flat.

  • Confused

    The abstract says that the study involved people viewing different types of foods, not necessarily consuming them. Without access to the rest of the article it’s really difficult to understand what actually happened. Also, I’m confused why affirming your moral identity would attenuate your desire to be altruistic…

  • sam23sirius

    Does organic food make people dicks? Maybe, but not as fast as buying a Prius does.

  • 6Blackie6

    Yeah, I’m an asshole. So what? Fuck you! I’d rather be a jerk than eat poison.
    PS I was an asshole before I started eating organic.

  • Jin The Ninja

    i think the real question should be whether or not, the inability to buy whole fruit at the farmer’s market, cut it yourself, and put it on an attractive plate, makes you a bougie asshole?

  • Veganjerk

    If you have ever lived in the Portland or Seattle area you are probably like me and don’t find Portlandia funny. Its not funny because its too accurate. I’m in no way saying that all Organic farmers are jerks or anything but I had to move out of Portland years ago because I couldn’t take that snotty I’m better than you because I’m a hippy vegan vibe.

  • VoxMagi

    As much as I hate vegan weenies with attitude and agree that theres plenty of condescension in the foodie world…

    …theres also the slight chance that, just maybe, the rising cultural popularity of organic food markets has increased the number of spectacularly self absorbed uber-shoppers who love the ‘hipness’ of being an organic shopper but expect to somehow receive the same worshipful clit-diddling that major corporate chains offer. If you haven’t grasped that most green conscious outlets aren’t big fans of doling out shittons of plastic bags…you probably aren’t there because you’re well versed in eco-friendly lore…but because you read a “Monsanto sucks’ article and want to try a walk on the wild side. A little more homework might have taught the author that a foodie also interacts with the food at home…it doesn’t always come prepackaged, precut, presliced, preseasoned, pre-preserved, prefrozen or prethawed etc. Thats part of the shit that led down the road to corporate swill. Basically, get with the fucking program, buy the fucking fruit, and cut yourself a fucking fruit platter, you illiterate poser hooker.

    • Jin The Ninja

      lol! yes and yes.

  • Establishedposter

    Random comment just because it is expected that I say something…I am a regular here after all and you are the only friends I have.

    • Andrew

      I disagree.  Your comment is not random at all.

  • justagirl

    ya the fucking hippies..

  • Eric_D_Read

    In my experience, it depends if they grew it themselves or not.

  • Tomasmagic

    Most of my organic food buddies are Liberal.  They’re kind of jerks.  More so than my Republican friends.  

    • Monkey See Monkey Do

      You’re a jerk