"We cook, therefore we are."

Human brain is extremely energy expensive. Although a human brain is only 2% of our total body weight, it consumes 20-25% of our total energy need. Most other primates can barely gather enough food for survival, let alone growing an energy hungry brain. So how did our ancestors do it? According to Suzana Herculano-Houzel, it was the invention of cooking: Cooking allows foods to be easily digested and absorbed. So our ancestors were able to gain much more energy from the same amount of food.

In short, our ancestors may not never evolved they way they did without “cooking”

Listen to the following:

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=384949670&m=387532306

A few of you may have already read about this, and I believe it may have been posted on Chowhound. Still I think it is a nice story.

2 Likes

Hi, Chem:

Yes, there is definitely something to this. Along with agriculture, animal husbandry, gut flora, etc.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Catching Fire: how cooking made us human

A good book on just this subject. Since he titled it Catching Fire - he probably sold a lot of extra copies since his book came out the same year as a book with the same title - the second volume in The Hunger Games series. This happens all the time in bookstores. I hope that at least some of the people who bought it by accident read and enjoyed it - as I said it’s a good book.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold