As an assistant professor at Loyola University and the study's lead author explains: "People may feel like they've done their good deed. That they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on. It's like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar." If we're reading that right, all you need is a bottle of "veganic kombucha" to feel like you can get away with stabbing someone.
In other words, some people equate the buying of specialty health foods with "moral credits," which they can spend at their leisure on small acts of dickery. It's basically the hipster version of buying indulgences, only with more gastrointestinal regularity. You can follow the links to see how they conducted their research, which involved things like showing people food labels and then asking them to rate situations "ranging from cousins having sex to a lawyer trolling the ER for litigious patients." Whatever their methods, we have a hard time arguing with Doug Barry of Jezebel's assessment of their findings, since it's something we've always considered one of life's great truisms: "eating cookies makes you a better person." (As long as they're not oatmeal.)