From the world of “now we’ve heard everything,” a recent article on Reason.com cites studies claiming that buying organic food leads to anti-social behaviors, harsh judgment and unethical tendencies. One of the studies cited was authored by Kendall J. Eskine, a psychology professor at Loyola University New Orleans, who wrote the article “Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments.”
“What the data suggest is that mere exposure to organic labeling can be enough to lead people to affirm their moral identities, which in much past research can lead people to act unethically later.”
The Reason articles notes, “But if people have misunderstood his point at times, it may be because Eskine’s paper appears to conflate ‘organic foods’ with ‘organic marketing,’ and to focus more on the former than on the latter. The word ‘label’ also appears just once in the paper.”
The study was mentioned – and pilloried – by Michael Feldman on the May 26 NPR program, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”
Reason.com is published by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank called which, according to sourcewatch.org, is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Listed among its funders are the Koch Brothers and Philip Morris. Read the Reason article here.