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Author Topic: When did cooking first evolve?  (Read 4131 times)

Offline thedoc

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When did cooking first evolve?
« on: 26/08/2011 15:25:19 »
Research suggests that early hominids of the species Homo erectus, which lived between 1.8 and 1.5 million years ago, may have cooked and processed their food in the same way that we do.

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« Last Edit: 26/08/2011 15:25:19 by _system »


 

Offline CZARCAR

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #1 on: 25/08/2011 14:25:29 »
I remember a theory about humans heating meat so to simulate the temperature of a fresh kill. I bet someone left the meat beyond that temp & figured out the meat tenderized with proper cooking time? Also, bacteria contaminates from the exterior...
« Last Edit: 25/08/2011 14:28:20 by CZARCAR »
 

Online Bored chemist

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #2 on: 25/08/2011 19:05:50 »
"When did cooking first evolve?"
Just before lunch.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #3 on: 25/08/2011 20:26:15 »
"When did cooking first evolve?"
Just before lunch.
sleeping in late?
 

Offline CliffordK

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #4 on: 26/08/2011 08:50:36 »
I would think that control over fire, and cooking would have evolved more or less simultaneously, and may have been an adaptation for a cold environment.  There seem to be wildly different estimates of when it occurred, from 500,000 years ago to 2 million years ago.  But, generally estimated sometime during the period of Homo Erectus.

Perhaps it was an adaptation for energy, but I don't generally think of cooking my steak to get fatter.  Processing and cooking grains, however, might make them more palatable.  Natural Selection might have aided the cooks...  but that still doesn't explain why they started.

Perhaps a little kid was a "fire bug", and playing with his food near the fire, and decided to roast some of it above the fire, and liked the taste.

Perhaps early humans were experimenting with freezing food during the winter, and decided that not frozen food was more palatable to eat. 

Perhaps some humans were scavenging after a forest fire, and learned to like the new flavors.

Perhaps cooking food helped kill bacteria and pests.

As early hominids learned to control fire, cooking would have been inevitable. 
 

Offline katesisco

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #5 on: 26/08/2011 19:56:11 »
Cooking With Fire by Harvard professor was a good read.  He makes excellent point that human gut is too short to process uncooked grain.  Raw meat needs cooking for the proteins to be extracted.  As to how it all began, he proposes maybe eating meat overran by fire or volcanic action.  As good as any.  If you go there, you will have to see us as totally dumb; because lack of protein is what people die from, the brain stultifies.  You can't think.  Back then you can't think, you're prey. 
I like the idea that controlled fire was first used to keep animals at bay at night.  But I have to admit that eating something already cooked by lava is appealing, saves the hunt.  But that is accidental, so it seems to me that the keeping animals away at night with fire led to eating things cooked --  the fire was always kept so food being exposed to heat was inevitable. 
 

Offline chris

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #6 on: 28/08/2011 22:12:21 »
Thanks, Katesisco; I might have to look up that book and give it a read...

Chris
 

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When did cooking first evolve?
« Reply #6 on: 28/08/2011 22:12:21 »

 

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