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Does Eating Organic Make You a Jerk?

 

According to some provocative new research, yes.

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The study’s lead scientist and author, Kendall Eskine, is an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University in New Orleans.

Eskine said, “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 was published May 15, 2013 in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science.

 

According to Newser.com:

 

The study separated 60 people into three groups: One looked at pictures of organic food; another at comfort foods like cookies and brownies; and a third like mustard and oatmeal. Later, the “organic” group judged people harder in made-up moral scenarios and were less willing to help a needy stranger. “People may feel like they’ve done their good deed,” says Eskine, and think they have permission “to act unethically later on.

 

It appears that when folks begin shopping for and eating organic foods they begin to feel self-righteous and can become snobs.

 

Dale Archer at Psychology Today says:

They look down on those with the processed food, the frozen dinners and even those who do not bring their own reusable bag and become downright judgmental…………. And even more importantly, their self importance and harsh judgment was not just food related; it carried over to other areas of their life, as well.

…..Snip……..

………. they are being seduced by a sense of moral superiority, and pass judgment on others with a narcissistic and self focused aura.

 

This new Loyola study is not the first to find this kind of link. As reported at Slate on line, a 2009 University of Toronto essentially found the same thing: that virtuous shopping can actually lead to immoral behavior.

 

…..subjects who made simulated eco-friendly purchases ended up less likely to exhibit altruism in a laboratory game and more likely to cheat and steal.

 

Researcher’s call this effect, ‘licensing.’ Once we do good we feel free to slack off a bit:

 

The green-products study broke ground by suggesting that behavior in one realm (environmental decisions) may have a licensing effect in a different area (not future environmental choices, but general morality).

 

Organic No More Nutritious or SaferJust More Expensive

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And we already know from scientific studies and research [Standford University Study is one.] that organic is neither more nutritious nor safer than conventional produce. Yet it is more expensive than conventional produce.

Bottom Line For Me

I would rather a poor family buy some non-organic produce than skip it all together because they cannot afford organic.

What say you?
Featured Recipe        Chicken Breasts Wild Rice Casserole

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This is one of those no-fuss, no time to cook recipes. Yet it is so delicious and looks so wonderful it is definitely company’s coming to dinner fare too.

The recipe can easily be doubled.

This recipe is more expensive than most I normally run here at MTTD. But it is so worth it.  Then again, it is les expensive than eating out. It is just slightly more than a Big Mac Meal.

This is what you will need for 3 people:

3 chicken breasts – bone in or skinless boneless

1 tablespoon olive oil

3-4 ounces wild mushroom mix

2 tablespoons butter

1 box long grain and wild rice mix

1 10 ounce can cream of mushroom soup

1¼ cup white wine

Sprinkle of paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Parsley

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Here is what you do:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Clean the mushrooms if necessary and sauté in the melted butter for 2-3 minutes tossing so that the mushrooms are coated with butter. Set aside.

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Salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides.

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In a very hot skillet quickly brown the chicken on both sides in the olive oil, about 2-3 minutes per side. DO NOT COOK THE CHICKEN IN THIS STEP.  Just brown the little darlings. They will cook through in the oven.

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Mix the contents of the box of rice and the seasoning packet in a large casserole.

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Add the soup, the mushrooms, and the wine and mix well.

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Arrange the browned chicken on top. Sprinkle the chicken with some paprika.

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Bake covered for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size of the chicken pieces and your oven, if using boneless chicken and one hour twenty minutes if using bone in chicken.

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CLEAN-UP NOTE: I wash all dirty dishes now so when the chicken comes out of the oven the only dishes I will have left to clean up is what we eat off of and the casserole with the chicken in it.

I begin checking the chicken and rice around the 45 minute mark. Do not over cook this dish as both the rice ad the chicken will become dry.

45 minute mark. Done.

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Remove from the oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to let the juices redistribute.

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If you ave any doubt test the chicken for doneness. An instant read thermometer should read 170 degrees. How to test chicken doneness.

Serve with a salad and a vegetable.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

3 chicken breasts                             $5.89

1 tablespoon olive oil                        $0.23

3-4 oz wild mushroom mix                $3.59

2 tablespoons butter                         $0.16

1 box long grain/wild rice mix            $2.79

1 10 oz can mushroom soup              $1.59

1¼ cup white wine                            $2.50

Sprinkle of paprika                            $0.04

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Parsley                               $0.05

Total cost = $16.84
Cost per person = $5.61

Quote of the Day

The first time I ate organic whole-grain bread I swear it tasted like roofing material.

Robin Williams

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6 comments to Does Eating Organic Make You a Jerk?

  • That chicken is so gorgeous! I pinned it!

    As for the whole organic thing – I’m more about ethical eating. I want to buy from farmers who take care of their soil, treat their animals with respect and if they have to use chemicals rather than lose the whole crop – that just makes sense. …as long as the chemical effects have worn off by the time I get it.

  • Oh how I love you! Just had this discussion with another couple – or rather disagreement. My garden is all organic, however people do not realize what it takes for a farm or ranch to be certified organic even if you don’t use chemicals! People also do not realize the diseases so called organic cattle get that cannot be treated because so called organic beef growers can’t use medications to make the cattle well. It’s crazy! And yeah, totally elitist about the organic thing! Besides organic is insanely expensive because of the costs incurred by the producers.

    • Roberta

      I hear you, Julia. Why does it always have to be an argument with organic lovers? If you want to eat organic, go ahead. I will not stop you. I don’t care. But what I can’t get is why they try to force/shame the rest of us to.

  • Hi Roberta,

    chicken + mushroom + wine + DELiSH!

    It makes me sad to see people, however well intentioned, make food into something more akin to a religion or exclusive club rather than something that nourishes, builds relationships, and fosters creativity. To choose angst and tightness around food, when it isn’t necessary, is also insensitive to those who really do need to limit or control food intake for health or financial reasons. The only time I give myself a pat on the back regarding my food is when I nail a recipe or feed a bunch of people and make them happy 🙂

    Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this subject. Have a great week!

    • Roberta

      Like and agree with your entire comment, Angie.

      But this is best of all:

      “The only time I give myself a pat on the back regarding my food is when I nail a recipe or feed a bunch of people and make them happy.”

      I can only add; AMEN.

      Thanks for weighing in.