Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

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Profile Books, Aug 6, 2010 - Science - 309 pages
18 Reviews
In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that caused the extraordinary transformation of our ancestors from apelike beings to Homo erectus. At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating cooked rather than raw food permitted the digestive tract to shrink and the human brain to grow, helped structure human society, and created the male-female division of labour. As our ancestors adapted to using fire, humans emerged as "the cooking apes". Covering everything from food-labelling and overweight pets to raw-food faddists, Catching Fire offers a startlingly original argument about how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. "This notion is surprising, fresh and, in the hands of Richard Wrangham, utterly persuasive ... Big, new ideas do not come along often in evolution these days, but this is one." -Matt Ridley, author of Genome
  

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Review: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

User Review  - Andrew K - Goodreads

The argument is that human beings (or what would become them) discovered cooking early enough that the advantages of eating primarily cooked food led to real, physical differences in how humans ... Read full review

Review: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

User Review  - Greg Linster - Goodreads

Many people from a range of scientific disciplines have put forth an answer to the following grand question: what made us human? Surprisingly, many of these brilliant scientific minds overlooked a ... Read full review

Contents

The Cooking Hypothesis
1
Quest for RawFoodists
15
The Cooks Body
37
The Energy Theory of Cooking
55
When Cooking Began
83
Brain Foods
105
How Cooking Frees Men
129
The Married Cook
147
The Cooks Journey
179
The WellInformed Cook
195
Acknowledgments
209
Bibliography
257
Index
289
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Richard Wrangham has taught biological anthropology at Harvard University since 1989. His major interests are chimpanzee behavioral ecology, the evolution of violence and tolerance, human dietary adaptation, and the conservation of chimpanzees and other apes. He has studied chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda, since 1987.

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