Depending on whom you want to believe, it turns out that either
(a) if you regularly shop at Whole Foods you’re an asshole, or
(2) the psychologists who draw this conclusion are a pack of self-righteous frauds.
Personally, I’m open to accepting both conclusions. Did I say “accepting”? Make that “embracing.”
An old friend (hi, Dave!) from the old neighborhood tells me that up in his neck of the Philadelphia suburbs, they refer to Whole Foods as “Whole Paycheck.” A single guy, he wanders in there looking to restock his pantry and walks out with a lien on his earnings. “It never fails,” he tells me, amazed and appalled. “All I want is some pasta salad and some bread to make toast with for my Sunday breakfast. I end up cashing in my IRA because I splurge to buy one fucking pound of radishes.”
As for the psychologists, their so-called discipline is a pseudo-science barely more defensible than astrology and alchemy. Nothing they say is worth the ink it takes to print it with — or, given the current state of the art, the pixels it takes to paint a screen.
Research from Loyola University in New Orleans now suggests people who buy organic are less generous and more judgmental than those who buy regular old potato chips or – even bland, non-descript foods.
Organic and non-organic consumers were rated as to how much time they would spend helping needy strangers in certain situations. The groups also ranked the severity of certain moral transgressions. The Whole Foods crowd has been skewered recently on TV shows like Modern Family and Portlandia for not being quite as “down to earth” as they’d like to appear.
Researchers said it has to do with a certain self-righteousness that comes with feeling better about one’s self for doing the right thing. Call it the Prius Principle – satirized on Comedy Central’s South Park – where snooty hybrid drivers helped clear up the smog problem, but then the community ended up being overcome by “smug.” — NWCN.com
If you’ve ever shopped at a Whole Foods, you know that the clientele can be obnoxious, snotty, and unfriendly — a perfect match for the employees. But lovely produce, right?
So the nation’s shrinks have weighed in and determined there’s a genuine pathology here that links affection for pretty peaches plums and pomegranates to rods up the ass and cement in the nostrils. They link a fondness for fresh food with a hole in the soul. Honest. They do.
I’m inclined to invoke the ancient adage: “A plague on both your houses.” I avoid Whole Foods at all costs– my favorite place for produce is Stiles Farm Market, where the Bok Choy goes for $1.50 for two pounds, and the lemons are 5 for a buck — and I’m convinced the psychologists of this great nation are the 21st Century’s Global Village Idiots. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village idiot to publish a research paper.
It all comes back to one very basic issue: Those of us atop the food chain need to recognize our position with humility and gratitude. Fuck you foodies, and fuck you snobs. Enjoy your bounty, you freedom from hunger, your confidence in the availability of your next meal, with gratitude, not snootiness.
Personally, I don’t need a headshrinking PhD to remind me. But I didn’t need a weatherman to tell me which way the wind was blowing, either.