I like shopping at Whole Foods.
I don’t do it on a weekly basis nor do I do it out of any sense of crunchy altruism. They’ve simply got a better beverage (adult) selection and I love cooking seafood that was, like, alive in the sea at some point during the current Presidential administration.
But every time I’m at Whole Foods, I get the this feeling- the same feeling I get when I’m at a hard core outdoor store or a boutique coffee shop.
Namely, I feel others looking at me with equal parts pity and disgust, as though I didn’t belong there. Like I wasn’t one of them.
So maybe this study, suggesting organic foodies are looking down there noses at their less enlightened peers, is confirmation of the self-doubt that sweeps over me whenever I’m in the check out line at WF and the check out clerks raises a Bonfire of the Vanities eyebrow at my non-cagefree eggs.
According to the newsfeed:
A new study shows that organic foodies’ humane regard for the well-being of animals makes some people rather snobbish. The report, published last week in the Journal of Social Psychological & Personality Science, notes that exposure to organic foods can “harshen moral judgments.” Which, to us, sounds like a nice way of saying that organic-food seekers are arrogant. But that seems rather paradoxical: organic eaters are more likely to seek benevolence in their food, so why don’t they seek it in their relationships? Well, according to the study, they tend to congratulate themselves for their moral and environmental choices, affording them the tendency to look down on others who don’t share their desire for pesticide-free living.
Interestingly (and here comes my inner-Calvinist):
This but illustrates the Reformed assertion that any true, lasting and authentic exercise of compassion, be it personal or social- as in socially responsible buying habits, must come out of an experience of grace.
That is, it’s only when you’ve confronted, in your deepest being, the truth that you’re more sinful than you ever admitted but also more loved than you ever imagined that you can be truly gracious to another.
Without that experience of grace, Calvin says, every compassionate deed will eventually be corrupted by our own self-love.
We will look down on others.
We will think ourselves superior.
Thus our perceived altruism is actually the outworking of pride.
So perhaps what organic foodies need is conversion.
Maybe they need a shot grace to go with their shot wheatgrass.
Maybe they need to be able to say ‘I once was a Safeway shopper but now am found, was blind but now I see.’