Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human (Part Three)

I am hanging in there with this book, though Wrangham is driving me crazy with his lack of logic. He constantly cites research that points to cooking being bad for food, then he argues that it is good. Most writers use research to support their claims, Wrangham does the opposite.

For example, in Chapter Three he talks about rat research that shows that "soft, well-processed foods made rats fat." The experiments results were that a softer (cooked food) diet led to obesity. And this is a good thing? For Wrangham yes, because there is more energy gain. I say "No! there is more fat! Idiot!

Someone please tell Dr. Wrangham that you can get softer, easier to digest, energy producing food, from...drum roll please...fruits!!!

There are more things for humans to eat on this planet besides meat and potatoes. Okay, fine, meat and potatoes are easier to digest when cooked. And they make you fat. And yes, humans were able to multiply in greater numbers by cooking and eating meat. But that does not mean it is healthier.

So, great, evolution did its job. More people were able to live long enough to have more babies and spread their genes. And if that is all you are interested in, fine. Wrangham you understand evolution. But you sure are not helping the rest of us who would like to live longer, healthier lives. For a guy who spent his life researching monkeys you sure did not learn anything about their eating habits!!!

I'm writing this after drinking a delicious smoothie made of fresh squeezed oranges, mangoes, and pineapple. I've got a bunch of bananas on my desk and a bag of lettuce in the fridge. You think I'm going to have any problem digesting my food? Dr. Wrangham, come over to my house for lunch some time will ya?

1 comment:

SimonPure said...

So, where might our distant ancestors in Africa have come across oranges, mangoes, pineapples, or lettuce?

The fruits and vegetables you mention, in fact almost all the fruits and vegetables we eat, are the product of hundreds or thousands of years of selective breeding, and little resemble their naturally-occurring cousins.

Plus, the availability of such a variety in our markets is a result of modern transportation networks.

So, what raw foods were available in Africa 500,000 years ago?