Thursday, May 28, 2009
Books That Are Cookin: Did Cooking Lead to Human Evolution?
A novel theory has just been posited by a Harvard professor in a new book called, "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human." In it, he argues that learning to cook our food was responsible for the break from other species and the onset of human evolution. The most startling aspect of his theory is that it's new! Even Darwin overlooked our ability to cook our food as the most important evolutionary advance we made as a species. He writes:
“Cooked food does many familiar things. It makes our food safer, creates rich and delicious tastes and reduces spoilage. Heating can allow us to open, cut or mash tough foods. But none of these advantages is as important as a little-appreciated aspect: cooking increases the amount of energy our bodies obtain from food.”
He goes on to debunk the raw food movement and diet, arguing that humans cannot derive enough energy from it to sustain themselves - something I've noted for years. Well, no worries in this household! The Domestic Diva loves to cook! Guess I'm part of that evolution thing. :)
Click here to read the NY Times Article on this new book!