But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking. Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. A study of cooking serves up some tasty morsels, but also empty calories. In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating.

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The first meat eaters certainly would have been slow, they had small bodies, their teeth and limbs made feeble weapons, and their hunting tools were probably little more than rocks and natural clubs.

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham

In a British sailor, Dougal Robertson, and his family lost their ctaching to killer whales in the Pacific and were confined to a dinghy for thirty-eight days. But there are two, not one, major jumps in development along this road toward Homo sapiens. So if the meat-eating hypothesis is advanced to explain why Homo erectus had vatching teeth and guts, it faces a difficulty with the plant component of the diet. Three others are acidity, sodium chloride, and drying, all of which humans use in different ways.

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard W. Wrangham

We should avoid a lot of refined, fibre-poor foods which our evolutionary history has caused us to cravesince we tend to grow fat on a diet in which glucose is too readily available to us. They began with wranhham few cookies, oranges, and glucose candies.

Some of his facts are eccentric: From the first page I liked the writing style. I like how grounded I feel after soup or grains.


When an airplane crashed in the Chilean Andes in and stranded twenty-seven people for seventy-one days, the survivors resorted fjre cannibalism and cooked the meat.

How did australopithecines develop into Homo erectus?

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

A typical day began at 7 A. We seem to get much more out of drangham cooked food than raw: Citing the general unpalatability and undigestibility of a chimp’s diet for modern humans, the seeming energy deficit seen in raw food proponents, the chemical changes that occur in foods that are cooked and the subsequent absorption of the unlocked calories, and the increasing reduction of our early ancestors’ gastrointestinal tract through the millennia, he is convinced that the utilization of fire for cooking has its origins much farther in the past than the current evidence from the archaeological record tells us.

We should indeed pin our humanity on cooks.

He sidesteps the challenge of the origins of language but nonetheless locates humans in the context of changing and challenging environments. Ausfralopithecines were the size of chimpanzees, they climbed well, they had ape- sized bellies, and they had protruding, apelike muzzles.

Full text of “Catching Fire [How Cooking Made Us Human].pdf (PDFy mirror)”

Even without genetic evolution, animals reared experimentally on soft diets develop smaller jaws and teeth. They thrive only in rich modem environments where they depend on eating exceptionally high-quality foods. As cooked food replaced a diet consisting entirely of raw meat and fresh vegetable matter, the whole pattern of mastication, digestion, and nutrition was altered.

Recent studies of the digestion of eggs are starting to resolve the argument, showing for the first time that cooked protein is digested much more conpletely than raw protein.


Sometimes a continual diet of raw foods can dampen digestive fire. And since hunting was mainly a male activity, women took on the role of cooking. But none of these advantages is as inportant as a little-appreciated aspect: Still, in theory, societies could exist where cooked food is only a small part of the diet.

Protein takes more work to digest if eaten with high fiber foods. In photographs she looks distinctly thin, but she was happy. The most extensive is the Giessen Raw Food study, conducted by nutritionist Corinna Koebnick and her colleagues in Germany, which used questionnaires to study raw-foodists who ate from 70 percent to percent of their diet raw.

By the time of his death in at the ripe old age of eighty-five, he felt thoroughly mistreated. Kung of the Kalahari illustrate the typical pattern for hunter- gatherers of a light breakfast and snacks during the day, followed by an evening meal.

A similar effect appears in fish farms. Gelatinization happens whenever starch is cooked, whether in the baking of bread, the gelling of pie fillings, the production of pasta, the fabrication of starch-based snack foods, the thickening of sauces, or, we can surmise, the tossing of catchibg wild root onto a fire.

Judging from studies of bones and teeth, which show in their fine structure the marks of nutritional stress, energy shortages were also universal in archaeological populations. Eggs are the only unprocessed animal food that can safely be stored at roomtenperature for several weeks.