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

By Richard W. Wrangham

ISBN-10: 0465020410

ISBN-13: 9780465020416

In Catching hearth, popular primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that our evolutionary luck is the results of cooking. as soon as our hominid ancestors started cooking, the human digestive tract shrank and the mind grew; and pair bonding, marriage, the family, or even the sexual department of work emerged. A pathbreaking thought of human evolution, Catching fireplace will fascinate a person attracted to our historic originsor our sleek consuming conduct.

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Additional info for Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Example text

Any system of reducing the size of food particles, such as grinding and crushing, leads to predictable increases in energy gain. The German raw-foodists also had the advantage of eating oils produced commercially by industrial processing. Koebnick’s team found that about  percent of the subjects’ calories came from these lipids, a valuable energy source that would not have been available to hunter-gatherers. Yet even with all these helpful conditions, at least half the German women eating raw foods obtained so little energy from their diet, they were physiologically unable to have babies.

In summer women made small twig fires, whereas in winter they cooked over burning seal oil or blubber in stone pots. After the snow had melted to water, the process of boiling meat took a further hour. Despite the difficulties, the meat was well cooked. “I have never seen Eskimo eat partly cooked meat so bloody as many steaks I have seen devoured in cities—when they cook, they usually cook well,” Stefansson wrote in . The slow cooking and shortage of fuel meant it was hard for men to cook when they were out on the hunt, so during 0465013623-Wrangham:Layout 1 3/18/09 12:54 PM Quest for Raw-Foodists Page 29  the day they would sometimes eat fresh fish raw, either the flesh or in the case of large fish, just the intestines.

The Giessen subjects had further advantages. There is no indication that they engaged in much exercise, unlike women in foraging populations. Anthropologist Elizabeth Marshall Thomas describes bushman women in Africa’s Kalahari Desert returning to camp at the end of their ordinary long day thoroughly exhausted, because for much of the day they have been squatting and digging and walking, and hefting large loads of food, wood, and children. Even in populations that cook, these natural activity levels are high enough to interfere with reproductive function.

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


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