The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Humans VS Chimpanzees Eating Meat

Chimp researcher says cooking food makes us human

There are a lot of devotees of raw food diets these days, and the numbers seem to be growing. Proponents say eating food that hasn’t been cooked is more natural and can give you more energy, as well as being kinder to the planet if you’re choosing vegetarian raw foods.

But Dr. Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, says there’s an extent to which raw foods go against our nature and that a big part of being human derives from cooking food.

Wrangham explores this idea in his new book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. He says that we needed to learn how to cook so that we could consume more calories in a shorter period of time than chimpanzees and other animals that have to spend all their time foraging. Cooking allowed us to spend time on other things, like development of culture and developing larger bodies and brains.

He says cooked calories are easier to digest and more nutritionally dense than when the same foods are eaten raw, giving humans an advantage. Cooking also set up gender roles, as women who could cook well were likely to be able to keep a good hunter around their family.

Humans aren’t meant to eat raw

Wrangham says there’s no way a human could sustain himself on the kind of raw food diet a chimpanzee has, that is, if he were required to forage for food. Given the easy access to food provided by grocery stores and farmers’ markets, he says it is possible to have a healthy diet as a raw foodie, but that doesn’t mean it’s natural:

People who switch to a raw diet report feeling constant hunger and lose large amounts of weight, even when they are careful to take in at least the nutritionally suggested number of calories a day for an adult. Basically, all the studies show that over the long term, a strictly raw diet cannot guarantee an adequate energy supply for our bodies. In other words, raw foodism is against our biology in a state of nature.

He also notes that he has never tried a raw diet because it would be a “social inconvenience,” but the more important story of food in our culture now is that so many people are eating more food — of any kind — than they really need to be healthy.

(By Sarah E. White for CalorieLab Calorie Counter News)


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