Shoppers Think Organic Automatically Means Healthier

In what's called the 'healthy halo,' shoppers tend to think organic food is healthier, tastier, and less caloric

Silly shoppers; just because something is "organic" doesn't mean it's healthier, tastier, or has less calories. Case in point: We've had plenty of disappointing peaches from the farmers' market.

According to a study from Cornell University, Science Daily reports, most shoppers are affected by a "health halo" effect when buying organic; results showed that an organic label can influence perceptions of taste, calories, and value.

Researchers surveyed 115 people in a local shopping mall, asking them to evaluate yogurts, cookies, and potato chips. One of each item would be labeled "organic," while the other was labeled "regular," even though both products were organic and identical.

Despite the fact that the products were exactly the same, participants felt the cookies and yogurt had fewer calories when "organic," and people were willing to shell out up to 23.4 percent more for those products. And while "organic" chips and yogurt were considered tastier, "regular" cookies were reported to taste better. But psych! Organic baked goods can be tasty, too.

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Nevertheless, people who weren't prone to the "health halo," which seems to make everything organic less caloric, more delicious, but less fatty, were also those prone to reading nutrition labels. Which makes sense; an organic cookie is going to have just as much butter as a regular one; at least nutrition labels don't lie.