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Cooking Essay

827 words - 4 pages

Humans are the only species on Earth to grasp the understanding of cooking food. Cooking has played a key role in human evolution. Once humans learned this vital skill it allowed them to advance in other important areas rather than spending all their time searching for food in order to survive. In addition, it also provided opportunity for humans to establish a connection with one another while gathering to consume their cooked meals. Today's society has no doubt seen a decrease in traditional meals cooked from scratch; however, people are meant to change. Cooking will always be apart of human culture even if its not a daily task in every modern home.
In the article The Cooking Animal, Author Micheal Pollan emphasizes that learning to cook food allowed humans to devote more of their time to create a civilization. Someone might argue that other advances in human history such as toolmaking, creation of fire, or language have played a large part in evolving as well. Of coarse these things had a lot to do with humans evolving the way they did, but Micheal Pollan believes that when human ancestors discovered cooking it provided a more easy-to-digest diet with more energy. This gave the human brain the opportunity to grow bigger while letting the stomach digest food quicker. Thus, giving humans more time to create a culture rather than spending their days gathering food, and the many hours it took to chew and digest raw meats (581). Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss claims “Many cultures entertained a similar view, regarding cooking as a symbolic way of distinguishing ourselves from the animals” (581). Pollan's views on how cooking has influenced humankind makes a lot of sense. Though cooking is not the only reason humans have evolved into the greater species they are today, it has played the largest role.
Another point Pollan emphasizes on is that cooking did not only give people the meal, but it also presented the opportunity for groups of people to sit around a table to eat and socialize with one another. Before cooking was discovered, the forager would have caught his food and eaten it right then and there, like animals. Then, people began collecting their food together, gathering to prepare it, sitting down together to eat it, making eye contact, becoming humane (582). Richard Wrangham, author of the book Catching Fire says “Around that fire, we became civilized”...

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