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Has cooked food helped us evolve or helped us die?


Vegan Joe
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http://blogs.alternet.org/arachnoidcyst/2010/03/02/has-cooked-food-helped-us-evolve-or-helped-us-die/

 

Australopitheci lived off of only raw fruit and veg at approximately 5 kilos a day. It was mentioned tonight on the BBC2 program Horizon that modern humans wouldn’t be able to survive very long on this same diet. I immediately questioned that, being an off and on member of the raw vegan movement, and 100% vegan. They began to show images of members who took part in their experiment whinging and having to rush off to the loo, but that is to be expected when changing any diet. If you suddenly start eating only raw fruit and veg you will experience a detox cleansing, but this only lasts about two weeks and I would hardly describe it as, “killing you”, if anything it rejuvenates you and once you are past the “eat and run to loo” stage, you will feel ten times better, more energy, etc. But there in the program they stated “no human can survive any legnth of time on a diet of only raw fruit and veg”…

 

Moving on…The basic idea of the program was to question whether or not our eating habits changed the way we evolved anatomically and neurologically from Australopitheci to Homo Habilis to Homo Erectus and eventually to Homo Sapiens. [i know there are a lot more in between, I am just only rephrasing the BBC program.]

 

The question really was about cooking–

 

By eating meat did the brain suddenly crave more than the “bland” raw diet? It is thought Habilis were the first to create tools out of rocks and twigs, and these tools became the basis for “cooking”.

 

So when did cooked food really come about then? Did our ancestors accidentally drop raw meat onto a fire and discover the changes in flavor? Is that when they started carving and roasting the meat? When did they realise cooked fruit and veg tasted different as well?

 

It is true that cooked food lights up your senses and excites you. You start to crave what you smell and need to taste it. You can get satisfaction from a warm meal, but is it true that cooked food gives off more energy than raw food?

 

By the time Homo Erectus came about, the brain had grown by 20%, but what was the real reason, was it the meat eating or the cooking? Or did cooking not really begin until Homo Erectus? So many questions and so little answers I found by watching the BBC program tonight. But there was one argument throughout the entire hour that got my goat: Cooked food creates more ...

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