T Nation

Did Cooking Make Us Human?


Fascinating documentary. Highly recommend watching.

Highlights: Transitioning from plant to meat diet allowed us to spend less time eating, more energy on other things. Cooking allows us to access more of the energy in a food and allows us to spend less energy digesting. Some cool experiments with mice and snakes to make those points.

Particularly interesting was an experiment and discussion in the last 10 minutes regarding fat content of food and how our brains are wired to desire the high energy foods. Involves feeding a subject "energy drinks" with different fat content while monitoring the brain in an MRI machine.

Link & Description:


In Did Cooking Make Us Human?, a clutch of determined scientists set out to discover the extent to which diet played a role in the evolution of the human brain, using a variety of mildly alarming gadgets.

Professor Peter Ungar has a contraption he calls the Bitemaster 2, a mechanical chewing machine he has fitted out with genuine Australopithecine gnashers.

For the first time in three million years they were set to work on a carrot, with remarkable success, considering.

On raw meat they performed less ably, but teeth from a later human ancestor â?? smaller, sharper, â??crestierâ?? â?? made short work of it.