A conservative who is ecologically aware and has interests in natural products and organic foods. [Shortening of crunchy conservative.]
Is there room under the conservative umbrella for someone who respects the free market, but resents what its unfettered expression is doing to our cities and lives? Apparently, there is. In fact, people like me even have a name: "crunchy cons." ...
The liberal critique of capitalism is that it's inherently unfair, and so the state must remedy the resultant unequal distribution of wealth. The crunchy-con has no problem with such disparities. The problem, rather, is that the desire to earn and buy takes over our lives and crowds out things that make us happy: vibrant communities, time spent with family, healthy food and a clean environment. This is a failing of capitalism that must be remedied not by the state, but by ourselves.
Jonathan Kay, "Confessions of a 'crunchy con'," The National Post, April 24, 2006
Crunchy cons disapprove of abortion rights, same-sex marriage, illegal immigrants, public schools, secular liberals and mothers who work outside the home. But they don't like Wal-Mart, McMansions, suburbs, pollution, agribusiness or processed foods, either.
David D. Kirkpatrick, "Moosewood Republicans," The New York Times, March 12, 2006
I confessed that I was a Birkenstock'd Burkean in a National Review Online essay, and talked about how displaced I felt as a conservative who liked both Rush Limbaugh and Garrison Keillor. My in-box quickly filled up with literally hundreds of replies from across the country, nearly all of them saying, "Me too!"
There was the pro-life vegetarian Buddhist Republican who wanted to find somebody to discuss the virtues of George W. Bush with over a bowl of dal. An interracial couple, political conservatives and converts to Eastern Orthodoxy, wrote to say they loved shaking up the prejudices of liberal friends at their organic co-op. Small-town and rural crunchy cons checked in, and so did their urban counterparts from Berkeley to New York to London.
Rod Dreher, "Crunchy Cons," National Review, September 30, 2002
The adjective crunchy probably a shortened form of the phrase crunchy granola has been in the language since about 1982, and it's most often used disparagingly to refer to people with a strong interest in ecology, natural living, organic products and processes, and liberal values.