CATCHING FIRE WRANGHAM PDF

This book is a bit like that. The repast culminates in a series of idiosyncratic amuses-bouches, with claims that cooking led to our leaving the trees, to sex roles, to marriage, to emotional restraint, to consciousness, and to society itself which seems unlikely even if Gordon and Barack did bond in a New York kitchen. He takes us from the amaranth to the zucchini of gustatory biology. Some of his facts are eccentric: in New Guinea, "if a man takes his sago fork out of his hair.

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Women provide the staples in most cultures, as well as the cooking, while men spend hours away hunting. A few more interesting notes: - A wife is more important for her hearth-side care than sex favors in hunter-gatherer societies.

A woman could give out sexual favors to practically anyone… but feeding anyone other than her husband? Absolutely not. It definitely offers a different way of looking at evolution… and like most theories… it makes sense. The traditional answer has been that the use of tools allowed them to hunt, and that the increased protein in the diet allowed the developmental spurt toward a bigger brain. But there are two, not one, major jumps in development along this road toward Homo sapiens.

Richard Wrangham argues that the first, as has been established, resulted from hunting and eating more meat and not just consuming scavenged meat , but that the second came from How did australopithecines develop into Homo erectus?

Richard Wrangham argues that the first, as has been established, resulted from hunting and eating more meat and not just consuming scavenged meat , but that the second came from cooking food, which implies controlling fire. That aside, he uses anecdotal and indirect evidence to suggest that cooked food allowed homo erectus to evolve, and that the species can not longer thrive on a raw food diet for any extended length of time.

Fascinating was the report of the Evo Diet, an experiment conducted in in the UK with patients suffering from life-threateningly high blood pressure. They submitted to a raw food diet for 2 weeks, consisting of 50 kinds of raw fruits, veg and nuts in huge quantities except for one man, who snuck chocolate in week 2. The all brought their blood pressure down to less dangerous levels, but the diet had an unintended side effect: they all lost weight, about a pound each day.

The rest of the book argues that cooked food releases more energy calories than the same food would release if it were raw. This is true for both meat and plant-based foods. Cooking softens food, and soft food is more easily digested and requires less energy to utilize than hard food. Soft food allowed homo erectus to develop smaller digestive organs. In all hunter-gatherer societies, women gather and men hunt. Cooking food further differentiated the gendered division of labor, so that women also became the keepers of the fire and the cooks.

This also made women vulnerable, since smoke from a cooking fire can be seen from a mile away. Women received protection and occasional meat from men, and men received a cooked meal from women, and voila, marriage was born.

My question though: if men are off hunting, how can they be protecting the hearth at the same time? Maybe the most valuable contribution of this book is that it explains why there are no Inuit restaurants in London.

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Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham

Oliver Goldsmith considered that "of all other animals we spend the least time in eating; this is one of the great distinctions between us and the brute creation". In Wrangham published the first version of the hypothesis in Current Anthropology. Overview[ edit ] Humans species in the genus homo are the only animals that cook their food and Wrangham argues Homo erectus emerged about two million years ago as a result of this unique trait. Cooking had profound evolutionary effect because it increased food efficiency which allowed human ancestors to spend less time foraging, chewing, and digesting. Wrangham also argues that cooking and control of fire generally affected species development by providing warmth and helping to fend off predators which helped human ancestors adapt to a ground-based lifestyle. Wrangham points out that humans are highly evolved for eating cooked food and cannot maintain reproductive fitness with raw food.

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Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Women provide the staples in most cultures, as well as the cooking, while men spend hours away hunting. A few more interesting notes: - A wife is more important for her hearth-side care than sex favors in hunter-gatherer societies. A woman could give out sexual favors to practically anyone… but feeding anyone other than her husband? Absolutely not. It definitely offers a different way of looking at evolution… and like most theories… it makes sense. The traditional answer has been that the use of tools allowed them to hunt, and that the increased protein in the diet allowed the developmental spurt toward a bigger brain.

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