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For example, while this is the first study to look at “organic foods [that] are often marketed with moral terms (e.g., Honest Tea, Purity Life, and Smart Balance),” the link between moral marketing and organics here is tenuous. According to the Smart Balance website, for example, only two out of 33 Smart Balance products even use the term “organic” in their marketing. That means consumers can still attach a level of “smart”-ness to themselves when buying non-organic Smart Balance purchases.
Eskine calls this a “tricky question” and says he’s “currently designing a study to test this exact question.”
Given the heated food rhetoric I see every day, it’s no surprise that writers and bloggers have labeled Eskine everything from a “stooge” to a “troll,” and given rise to the inevitable claims that Eskine is a corporate plant or some sort of Johnny Monsantoseed.
So who did fund the study?
“I received NO funding for this research,” Eskine says, “and it’s disheartening when everyone assumes otherwise.”
But Eskine must hate organics, right? Strike two.
“I regularly purchase organic foods and do not think they make people ‘jerks,’” he says. “I regularly consume organic food and believe it is the environmentally and ethically superior choice when one has the resources and access to such products,” he adds.
Organic consumers may not be jerks, but it’s just as true that we can’t all afford a Colin in every pot.
Baylen J. Linnekin, a lawyer, is executive director of Keep Food Legal, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that advocates in favor of food freedom—the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, cook, eat, and drink the foods of our own choosing.