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Spinning sugar... Photo by delihayat/Getty

Essay/
Illness and disease
The case against sugar

A potent toxin that alters hormones and metabolism, sugar sets the stage for epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes

Gary Taubes

Big Burger by Tjalf Sparnaay 2015, 180 x 120 cm, oil on linen. Courtesy Bernarducci Meisel Gallery New York

Essay/
Mood and emotion
The hunger mood

Hunger isn’t in your stomach or your blood-sugar levels. It’s in your mind – and that’s where we need to shape up

Michael Graziano

Is less more? Photo by Thom Atkinson/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Food and drink
One week, no food

Intrigued by the buzz around medical fasting, I tried it. A rollercoaster of boredom and energy ensued

S Abbas Raza

At a café in Turin, Italy. Photo by Martin Parr/Magnum
Essay/
Food and drink
Joy in the task

Even the finest restaurants are serving coffee made with capsules. Have we lost faith in the human touch?

Julian Baggini

Photo by Roland Gerth/Corbis
Essay/
Ethics
Devouring the world

A former vegan who now hunts deer is troubled by what it takes to put food on our plates

Tovar Cerulli

Limousin sow, Dordogne de Neuvialle (two years old), and her piglet. Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Getty
Essay/
Bioethics
The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

Inconvenience food. Photo by Tom Bieber/Getty

Essay/
Food and drink
Freedom from food

It takes time to plan a meal, to say nothing of cooking and eating it. What if we could opt out of food altogether?

Nicola Twilley

Photo by Getty

Essay/
Food and drink
Against the grains

A carbs-rich diet has been blamed for the alarming explosion of obesity and chronic disease. What does the science show?

Melinda Wenner Moyer

Salad by Till Nowak.
Essay/
Ethics
The vegans have landed

A dominant species is a dominant species. If you really care about animal rights, vegan ethics don’t go far enough

Rhys Southan

Paris, 1951. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Magnum

Essay/
Food and drink
To tip or not to tip?

Rude in Tokyo, rude not to in New York – tipping mystifies tourists, economists and anthropologists. Should we stop?

Julian Baggini

Essay/
Ethics
The art of butchery

How we lost touch with animals, life and death, and learned to find butchery repulsive while eating more meat than ever

Amanda Giracca

Apricots by Arnout van Albada. Egg tempera and oil on panel. 2011.
Essay/
The environment
What are natural foods?

The glass of orange juice at the breakfast table tells a tale about what’s natural, what’s whole and what’s healthy for us

Joseph LaPorte

At the farmers market. Photo by Yuki Murata/Getty

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Splat goes the theory

Local and organic is a romantic myth – the future of sustainable agriculture is all about smart technology and scaling up

Louise O Fresco

Photo by Tatsuro Nishimura/Gallery Stock
Essay/
Biotechnology
The vegan carnivore?

It’s made in a lab, no factory farms and no killing, but it’s still meat. Looks like we’ll need a whole new food ethics

Julian Baggini

Detail from Champignons Suspects, coloured lithograph by A Cornillon, c.1827. Photo courtesy Wellcome Images
Essay/
Death
Last supper

Like the deadly pufferfish, wild mushrooms are for culinary daredevils. Care to play Russian roulette with your dinner?

Cal Flyn

Illustration by Richard Wilkinson
Essay/
Food and drink
Sacrament

Wine is an elixir, a miracle-worker and shapeshifter – no wonder even the most secular of us hold it sacred still

Ross Andersen

Detail from Beer Club by Georges Lilanga, 2000. Photo courtesy Contemporary African Art Collection Ltd/Corbis
Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
The bitter truth

Today’s bitter craft beers are dominated by hoppy preservatives. How did they taste back when brewers were shamans?

William Bostwick

The Frantzén/Lindeberg restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo by vdKG Design

Essay/
Food and drink
A taste of the divine

An exquisite, luxurious meal is an ephemeral pleasure – but perhaps that’s the point. So is the human condition

Julian Baggini