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Old 05-29-2013, 03:13 PM  
listopencil listopencil is offline
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Interesting Theory: Why Fire Makes Us Human

Cooking may be more than just a part of your daily routine, it may be what made your brain as powerful as it is

  • By Jerry Adler
  • Smithsonian magazine, June 2013
Wherever humans have gone in the world, they have carried with them two things, language and fire. As they traveled through tropical forests they hoarded the precious embers of old fires and sheltered them from downpours. When they settled the barren Arctic, they took with them the memory of fire, and recreated it in stoneware vessels filled with animal fat. Darwin himself considered these the two most significant achievements of humanity. It is, of course, impossible to imagine a human society that does not have language, but—given the right climate and an adequacy of raw wild food—could there be a primitive tribe that survives without cooking? In fact, no such people have ever been found. Nor will they be, according to a provocative theory by Harvard biologist Richard Wrangham, who believes that fire is needed to fuel the organ that makes possible all the other products of culture, language included: the human brain.


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Old 05-29-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
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This is literally part of the premise of Michael Pollan's new book. What a rip off of an article.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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I read about an experiment recently that showed cooked food required fewer calories to digest than raw food, thus it became more efficient to cook food and eat it when food was scarce. It was done in the context of discovering why people like to cook food, and the evolutionary trait was discovered.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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This is literally part of the premise of Michael Pollan's new book. What a rip off of an article.
"Unsurprisingly, Wrangham’s theory appeals to people in the food world. “I’m persuaded by it,” says Michael Pollan, author of Cooked, whose opening chapter is set in the sweltering, greasy cookhouse of a whole-hog barbecue joint in North Carolina, which he sets in counterpoint to lunch with Wrangham at the Harvard Faculty Club, where they each ate a salad. “Claude Lévi-Strauss, Brillat-Savarin treated cooking as a metaphor for culture,” Pollan muses, “but if Wrangham is right, it’s not a metaphor, it’s a precondition.” (Read about what it's like to have dinner with Pollan)"
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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"Unsurprisingly, Wrangham’s theory appeals to people in the food world. “I’m persuaded by it,” says Michael Pollan, author of Cooked, whose opening chapter is set in the sweltering, greasy cookhouse of a whole-hog barbecue joint in North Carolina, which he sets in counterpoint to lunch with Wrangham at the Harvard Faculty Club, where they each ate a salad. “Claude Lévi-Strauss, Brillat-Savarin treated cooking as a metaphor for culture,” Pollan muses, “but if Wrangham is right, it’s not a metaphor, it’s a precondition.” (Read about what it's like to have dinner with Pollan)"
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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We ate meat to get smarter...which means vegetarians are some dumb mother ****ers.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Branden Albert's Huge Balls View Post
We ate meat to get smarter...which means vegetarians are some dumb mother ****ers.
Check this out, from the article:

"Which is, in a way, his point: Human beings evolved to eat cooked food. It is literally possible to starve to death even while filling one’s stomach with raw food. In the wild, people typically survive only a few months without cooking, even if they can obtain meat. Wrangham cites evidence that urban raw-foodists, despite year-round access to bananas, nuts and other high-quality agricultural products, as well as juicers, blenders and dehydrators, are often underweight. Of course, they may consider this desirable, but Wrangham considers it alarming that in one study half the women were malnourished to the point they stopped menstruating. They presumably are eating all they want, and may even be consuming what appears to be an adequate number of calories, based on standard USDA tables."
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
Check this out, from the article:

"Which is, in a way, his point: Human beings evolved to eat cooked food. It is literally possible to starve to death even while filling one’s stomach with raw food. In the wild, people typically survive only a few months without cooking, even if they can obtain meat. Wrangham cites evidence that urban raw-foodists, despite year-round access to bananas, nuts and other high-quality agricultural products, as well as juicers, blenders and dehydrators, are often underweight. Of course, they may consider this desirable, but Wrangham considers it alarming that in one study half the women were malnourished to the point they stopped menstruating. They presumably are eating all they want, and may even be consuming what appears to be an adequate number of calories, based on standard USDA tables."
I don't see how someone could could starve to death while eating the recommended 2000 calories a day. This is very interesting if its true, but it seems to go against everything I have been taught about nutrition.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sannyasi View Post
I don't see how someone could could starve to death while eating the recommended 2000 calories a day. This is very interesting if its true, but it seems to go against everything I have been taught about nutrition.
Yeah it surprised me too. From the article:

"Carmody explains that only a fraction of the calories in raw starch and protein are absorbed by the body directly via the small intestine. The remainder passes into the large bowel, where it is broken down by that organ’s ravenous population of microbes, which consume the lion’s share for themselves. Cooked food, by contrast, is mostly digested by the time it enters the colon; for the same amount of calories ingested, the body gets roughly 30 percent more energy from cooked oat, wheat or potato starch as compared to raw, and as much as 78 percent from the protein in an egg. In Carmody’s experiments, animals given cooked food gain more weight than animals fed the same amount of raw food. And once they’ve been fed on cooked food, mice, at least, seemed to prefer it."
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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Old 05-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:46 PM   #13
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
Cooking may be more than just a part of your daily routine, it may be what made your brain as powerful as it is

  • By Jerry Adler
  • Smithsonian magazine, June 2013
Wherever humans have gone in the world, they have carried with them two things, language and fire. As they traveled through tropical forests they hoarded the precious embers of old fires and sheltered them from downpours. When they settled the barren Arctic, they took with them the memory of fire, and recreated it in stoneware vessels filled with animal fat. Darwin himself considered these the two most significant achievements of humanity. It is, of course, impossible to imagine a human society that does not have language, but—given the right climate and an adequacy of raw wild food—could there be a primitive tribe that survives without cooking? In fact, no such people have ever been found. Nor will they be, according to a provocative theory by Harvard biologist Richard Wrangham, who believes that fire is needed to fuel the organ that makes possible all the other products of culture, language included: the human brain.


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/scienc...volution-1.jpg
no barbeque, no civilization,
if I can't grill and drink beer on the weekends, what use is the rest of it
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:58 PM   #15
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no barbeque, no civilization,
if I can't grill and drink beer on the weekends, what use is the rest of it
I'd be interested in seeing the scientific explanation connection between sporting a goatee and the having the ability to smoke meats. I can't explain it, but it's 1:1.
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