Sorry, kids. No more pesticide-free broccoli or free-range chicken for you. I want you to grow up to be good citizens so it’s Twinkies and a bottle of high-fructose corn syrup for dinner tonight!
A new study in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that eating foods that are sweet encourage pro-social behavior while a diet of foods considered “organic” or “wholesome” leads to people being more judgmental and less altruistic. That seems counter-intuitive. Or does it?
The theory behind it is that people who eat organic foods perceive themselves as already doing the “right thing” and leads to a self-righteous attitude. They feel morally superior and, therefore, are less likely to engage in behaviors that help others.
A little harsh? Absolutely. The differences in behavior in this study were pretty minor and, like with any research, you should look at the big picture of the issue and come to your own conclusions.
What I take away from this: I’m not going to give up my organic garden but if I’m having a crazy day and end up serving frozen chicken nuggets and Oreo’s for dessert, I’m not going to beat myself up too bad. I’ll just think about the kind and generous people I am raising.