Ok, so we know that we cook food to make it edible and enjoyable.
But did you know that the simple act of cooking our food is what distinguishes us from animals and is a key contributor to our evolution as human beings?
Our primate cousins (like the Gorilla) may be three times the size of us and spend a good 70% of their day eating, but the reason they’re not the superior species all comes down to the fact that they eat raw plants.
By cooking our meat and veg we’re breaking down the tough cell walls and releasing more of the nutrients that are up for grabs, which is pretty vital considering our brains use one fifth of the calories we eat! This also means we get more energy from our food and can use this to increase our general knowledge and practical skills.
That’s exactly what our ancestors did when they first started cooking their food. Because they had more energy and free time, after learning how to preserve food and crush it into more edible forms, they were able to construct new tools to cook with and also develop languages (which we now speak) and create art and literature (which we now read).
Thanks to these new tools our ancestors came up with even more ways to release all the necessary nutrients, and as such people started living longer and healthier lives. Essentially, we ate our way to becoming the stronger and superior species!
Let’s not forget the fact that back when our ancestors first started cooking their food they would have to bring it back to a central location, and in doing so started strengthening social bonds. So next time you go to Nandos with your friends, just remember, your ancestors were essentially doing the same thing thousands of years ago!
Watch the video below for even more information about why we cook!