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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Evolutionary Cooking

Could cooking be a big part of what gives us our human-ness?  According to an article in ScienceNews, it very well could be. 

Some scientists believe that what made Homo erectus the species that eventually evolved into us is that they began to cook their food.  The article says,
This seminal event had huge implications for hominid evolution, giving the ancestors of modern humans time and energy for activities such as running, thinking deep thoughts and inventing things like the wheel and beer-can chicken.
Cooking...So easy even a caveman can do it.
Courtesy of Taste the Fear.com.
The article goes into the fact that Homo erectus had smaller teeth than their ancestors, which some scientists think proves that they had learned how to soften their food through cooking.  (Others believe that this was because of the use of tools--that teeth didn't need to be used as tools or weapons, as someone in the comments stated.)  Still, the theory is interesting for us foodies.

One of the comments makes a point, which I think is a great one.  That perhaps the most important thing that cooking did was help to kill bacteria and parasites that in turn, helped to lengthen the lives of our great-great-...great-great grandparents. 

Just one more reason to keep on cooking--to keep us from extinction! 

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