Should We Eat Meat?
by Vaclav Smil
I’m a huge fan of everything Smil writes. He’s skeptical that meat and dairy alternatives like those discussed in this issue will make a dent in global dietary habits. We might disagree on that particular point, but I think Smil has smart things to say about how to feed the world without destroying the planet.
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I Contain Multitudes
by Ed Yong
I’m fascinated by microbes, and the human gut might hold the key to fixing all sorts of medical issues. I was particularly interested by Yong’s account of how the bacteria that live in our digestive systems might be manipulated to prevent malnutrition.
The Emperor of All Maladies
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
This Pulitzer Prize–winning “biography” of cancer is a beautifully told account of the progress made in fighting the disease over the last century. Some of the scientific advances that have resulted have led to other breakthroughs, like the vaccines included in this year’s breakthrough technologies list.