It's no big surprise that someone untrained in research methods would tell us all what the research really means and why the scientists on this committee -- all trained to do research and interpret it -- are just a bunch of hacks. But that the New York Times would allocate its imprimatur and rarefied real estate to an infomercial masquerading as an Op-Ed is a lamentably disappointing surprise.
In this globalized world of consumption we live in, rarely do we stop to think about where our goods actually come from, who cultivated them or what life is like for the people at the beginning of the production chain. When you open a pack of sugar and empty it into your tea or coffee, do you ever consider the process of how that sugar ended up on your table? Do you ever think about what the people are like at each step of the production: the cultivators of the fields, the owners of the land, the processing plant workers, the packaging designers, the marketing team, the distributors, the transporters, the wholesalers, the retailers, and ultimately you, the consumer? I do all the time, to the point where I make up complete stories in my mind that could turn into a screenplay.