The Nature of Cooking: How Food-Processing Has Influenced Human Evolution

September 22, 2007

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James Boswell

James Boswell was right to call humans "the cooking animal" - humans are biologically adapted to eating cooked food. This claim fits differences between human and ape digestive systems that are traditionally seen as human adaptations to meat-eating, but are more convincingly interpreted as adaptations to eating processed foods. While much remains to be learned about the biological consequences of cooking and cooked diets, current evidence suggests that cooking is a key aspect of diet that underlies human uniqueness and may account for many aspects of human anatomy and behaviour.

 

Recorded Saturday, September 22, 2007 at The Field Museum.