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

By Richard W. Wrangham

In Catching hearth, well known primatologist Richard Wrangham argues that our evolutionary good fortune 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 hearth will fascinate an individual attracted to our historical originsor our sleek consuming behavior.

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Extra resources for Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Sample text

It cannot explain how a human with a diminished capacity for digestion could have digested plant foods efficiently. Plants are a vital food because humans need large amounts of either carbohydrates (from plant foods) or fat (found in a few animal foods). Without carbohydrates or fat, people depend on protein for their energy, and excessive protein induces a form of poisoning. Symptoms of protein poisoning include toxic levels of ammonia in the blood, damage to the liver and kidneys, dehydration, loss of appetite, and ultimately death.

She knew the jungle well because at about age twelve she had been kidnapped by Yanomamö Indians. She became a member of their tribe but her experience was very hard. One day, after her life was threatened, she escaped her captors. She took a firebrand wrapped in leaves so she could cook, but after a few days a heavy rain drenched it. Unwilling to return to Yanomamö life, she wandered alone, fireless and increasingly hungry, until she found an abandoned banana plantation. Valero was lucky because villagers had planted the trees in a dense grove.

In most circumstances, we need cooked food. 0465013623-Wrangham:Layout 1 3/18/09 12:54 PM Page 37 chapter  The Cook’s Body “Domestication of fire probably reacted on man’s physical development as well as on his culture, for it would have reduced some selective pressures and increased others. ” —Kenneth Oakley, Social Life of Early Man A lthough humans fare poorly on raw diets nowadays, at some time our ancestors must have utilized bush fruits, fresh greens, raw meat, and other natural products as efficiently as apes do.

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