Organic food may make us less kind

Organic-foodLondon, February 18 : People who buy organic produce are less likely to help others in need, researchers claim.

US psychologist Dr Kendall Eskine explains that this is because using organic products makes people feel more secure about themselves, weakening the urge to act unselfishly, the Daily Mail reported.

It also makes them judge immoral behaviour more harshly.

But comfort foods can lead to us being more social and making kinder moral judgments, the Daily Mail reported.

The study, at Loyola University in New Orleans, used 62 students in three groups.

One was given pictures of organic produce, another images of ice cream, cookies, chocolate and brownies, and the third control group were given pictures of porridge, rice, mustard and beans.

They were then all asked their views on six moral transgressions ranging from a politician taking bribes to a student stealing books from a library.

When they thought the study had finished, the students were told that a professor in another department was looking for volunteers willing to spare 30 minutes without any reward.

The students who were exposed to organic fruit and vegetables agreed to spare an average 13 minutes to help the professor.

However, the students who saw the comfort food such as chocolate were happy to set aside 25 minutes compared with 20 minutes from those in the third group, which looked at oatmeal and rice.

Eskine and colleagues said that people were more willing to help after eating something sweet.

In contrast, those that taste something disgusting had tougher moral judgments.

The psychologists wrote that the possibility is that those who simply purchase organic products will be less likely to engage in other meaningful acts of environmental protection.

The study has been published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. (ANI)

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