Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cooking History
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There is no clear archeological evidence for when food was first cooked. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires began only about 250,000 years ago, when hearths started appearing. Phylogenetic analysis by Chris Organ, Charles Nunn, Zarin Machanda, and Richard Wrangham suggests that cooking may have been invented as far back as 1.8 million to 2.3 million years ago. Wrangham proposed that cooking was instrumental in human evolution, as it reduced the time required for foraging and led to an increase in brain size. He estimates the percentage decrease in gut size of early humans directly correlates to the increase in brain size. Most other anthropologists, however, oppose Wrangham, stating that archeological evidence suggests that cooking fires began in earnest only about 300,000 years ago when ancient hearths, earth ovens, burnt animal bones, and flint appear across Europe and the Middle East. Two million years ago, the only sign of fire is burnt earth with human remains, which most other anthropologists consider to be mere coincidence rather than evidence of intentional fire. The mainstream view among anthropologists is that the increases in human brain size occurred well before the advent of cooking, due to a shift away from the consumption of nuts and berries to the consumption of meat.

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