“(Wrangham) Believes that fire is
needed to fuel the organ that
makes possible all other products
of culture, language included: the
Food = Energy
• Every animal on earth is limited by it’s
energy budget – CALORIES!
• These calories are needed for daily living
– not just going to the gym!
• A human body devotes 1/5 of its energy
to the brain at any given time!
There was a HUGE increase in brain size
that hominids embarked on about 1.8
millions years ago…
This had to be “paid” for with added calories either
taken in or diverted from some other function in the
Many anthropologist attribute the increase in brain
size to addition of meat – BUT Wrangham and
colleagues believe there is more to it!
Not only about the number of
They say it also matters what happens to the
food once it is consumed!
Raw food requires more energy chew, swallow
The real breakthrough =
The Effects of Cooking
• Improves the taste and flavor
• Detoxifies and kills parasites
• Outsources digestion
– Chopping, grinding, and the addition of heat does
some of the typical digestion work for the body
allowing more energy to be extracted from the
food and less expended in digesting it
Impact of Outsourcing
• Breaks down collagen in meat and softens the
cell walls of plants to release starch and fat
• Increases the macronutrients that can be
absorbed by the body
– Body gets roughly 30% more energy from cooked
oats, wheat or potato starch as compared to raw
– 78% more protein from a cooked egg than a raw egg!
To read the entire article from the June
2013 Issue of the Smithsonian go to this