Organic consumers are jerks

Ever walk into a Whole Foods market and feel like you're surrounded by smug, self-righteous jerks?

It's not just you. A new study confirms that these people really ARE jerks -- and you should probably leave the store before you turn into one of them.

Researchers split 60 people into three groups and then showed them pictures of different types of food. One group was shown images of labeled organic foods like apples and spinach, another saw non-organic "comfort" foods like brownies and cookies while a third -- the control group -- saw non-organic, non-comfort foods like rice and mustard.

Then, they were asked how much time -- up to 30 minutes -- they'd be willing to commit to some volunteer work.

The comfort group offered up an average of 24 minutes and the control group volunteered 19. The folks in the organic group, on the other hand, were positively stingy -- they volunteered just 13 minutes.

So much for cooperative living!

The organic folks were also more likely to climb as high as they could on the moral high horse. When asked to rank hypothetical moral violations -- like cousins having sex, or a lawyer on the prowl for clients in a hospital -- on a scale of 1 to 7, the organics folks were far more likely to be more severe in their judgments.

Hmmm. Harsh judgments on ambulance-chasing lawyers? Can't really say I blame them for that one.

OK, this is funny. And yes, plenty of these people really are smug Prius-driving holier-than-thou liberals. You know them. They wave organic bananas around like some kind of status symbol.

But let's face it -- while plenty of organic foods are a complete ripoff (especially organic packaged foods), others are the only way to avoid produce soaked in chemicals and factory-farmed meats awash in hormones.

So don't be afraid to buy organic when it makes sense. Just don't be a jerk about it.