Never trust a skinny cook..(3/31)

Title: Quote, Iain Hewitson

Though I do not believe with a lot of points brought up in Wrangham’s book, there was one point that he made that was pretty difficult to argue with. Cooked food gives us more energy, and is therefore a more efficient way to eat our food.

He gave many examples to show that this was true. One example he gave was the group of individuals that were put on a raw food diet to see if it would help their high cholesterol, who ended up losing a considerable amount of weight. This showed that people get consideralby fewer calories on a raw diet, which must mean that something is being done differently within the body with the raw food versus the cooked food. Therefore, if people were to live on raw food alone, they would never be able to sustain enough energy to live, without eating almost constantly. This idea is, of course, unrealistic.

There is the argument made that cooking food lowers the amount of nutrients that are found in the food. While this is true, many of the nutrients found in raw foods can not be broken down by our digestive systems in the relatively short amount of time the food spends in our system. Therefore, it is also realistic for Wrangham to claim that we have smaller stomachs and digestive paths because we have the ability to cook our food. Animals without the ability to cook their food, that therefore solely live on raw diets, have considerably larger digestive tracts that can handle breaking down food that is made up of more complex chains.

There is also evidence in today’s society that would back up Wrangham’s argument that cooked food gives us more energy. Many of the foods we eat these days is cooked and highly processed. We get an absurd amount of energy out of these products, as opposed to if we were going to eat their raw ingredients alone. However, we are consuming too much energy and not utilizing it. This is the major cause of obesity rates in our country. The energy we do not use is turned into fat and stored for later. We do not get to it later, and become faced with obesity.

This is why all of the craziest diets today involve a great deal of raw food. It gives you calories, but all of its nutrients are not digestible. That makes going on a raw food diet extremely dangerous. The amount of raw food that needs to be consumed to make up for the energy lost from a lack of cooked food is just completely unrealistic for one to consume in a day.

So, I am unable to agree with Wrangham’s theory that cooking is the single dividing factor from all other living creatures that makes us human. This has largely to do with the fact that I am not completely sold on the theory of evolution. However, it is blaitantly obvious that cooked food is more energy-efficient for our bodies.

This entry was posted in Personal Response and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Never trust a skinny cook..(3/31)

  1. Mr. Sturdy Knight says:

    Great response, Mary Margaret. Even though you don’t buy into Wrangham’s overall hypothesis, I am glad you still got something useful from the book. I’m still a little unclear one one point: though you reject that idea of cooking as the defining factor of our species, are you accepting the idea that we are specifically suited for cooked food, or just that cooked food is more efficient (something that is true regardless of species, as we saw from the python study cited by Wrangham)?

  2. porteram says:

    I accept the idea that we are specifically suited for cooked food, but not that this is what makes us human. There is evidence in several other species of their characteristics changing slightly over a few decades without being classified as a new species altogether.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s