The Evolutionary Role of Cooking

Cook­ing is “the evol­u­tion­ary change that under­pins all oth­ers” and is what makes us human, accord­ing to Richard Wrangham, Har­vard Uni­ver­sity. The the­ory: the pro­cess of cook­ing makes our food more digest­ible, free­ing up a huge amount of cal­or­ies that are then expen­ded on oth­er, more import­ant, activ­it­ies.

And with Homo sapi­ens, what makes the spe­cies unique in Dr Wrangham’s opin­ion is that its food is so often cooked.

Cook­ing is a human uni­ver­sal. No soci­ety is without it. No one oth­er than a few fad­dists tries to sur­vive on raw food alone. And the con­sump­tion of a cooked meal in the even­ing, usu­ally in the com­pany of fam­ily and friends, is nor­mal in every known soci­ety. Moreover, without cook­ing, the human brain (which con­sumes 20–25% of the body’s energy) could not keep run­ning. Dr Wrangham thus believes that cook­ing and human­ity are coev­al.

via Link Banana

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