Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

More benefits of cooking our food

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Further to a mention in this column of the role of cooking in human evolution (PJ, 14  May 2011, p571), Hourglass was interested to read of a new study in which a Harvard researcher, Rachel Carmody, found that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat.

Although Richard Wrangham (author of the book mentioned by Hourglass) came up with this as a theory several years ago, Carmody’s work is believed to provide the first evidence to support it. The study involved feeding two groups of mice a series of diets consisting of either meat or sweet potatoes prepared in four ways — raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded. Changes in each mouse’s body mass and their use of the exercise wheel were tracked during the course of each diet.

The outcome was that cooked meat delivered more energy to the mice than raw meat. According to Carmody, this suggests that humans are biologically adapted to take advantage of the benefits of the cooking, and that cooking played a key role in driving the evolution of humans from an ape-like creature into one more resembling modern humans.

Humans once ate meat raw — before they had the ability to control fire — but approximately 1.9 million years ago the bodies of early humans grew larger and their brains grew in size and complexity. Although these changes were thought to be the product of increased meat in the diet, Carmody says that her research points to the possibility that it was cooking that provided early humans with more energy.

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Beyond pharmacy blog

Take a look here for thoughts and musings beyond the pharmacy realm

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.