Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. A study of cooking serves up some tasty morsels, but also empty calories. In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating. But in Catching Fire, renowned primatologist Richard Wrangham presents a startling alternative: our evolutionary success is the result of cooking.

Author: Mikazragore Gataxe
Country: Norway
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Travel
Published (Last): 4 June 2009
Pages: 288
PDF File Size: 5.49 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.73 Mb
ISBN: 610-6-71716-277-2
Downloads: 38727
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kim

She counted the seven months by the passage qrangham the moon. But the piece of raw, salted, lean beef of the same size was only slightly macerated on the surface, while its general texture remained firm and intact.

As long as water is present, even from the dampness of a fresh plant, the more that starch is cooked, the more it is gelatinized. Ausfralopithecines were the size of chimpanzees, they climbed well, they had ape- sized bellies, and they had protruding, apelike muzzles. Survival manuals tell wrangahm that if we are lost in the wild, one of our first actions should be to make a fire.

However, I have not been able to find any reports of people living long term on raw wild food. On trek the nomads remove some of the fat for a raw meal, and the sheep travels a little lighter the next day. Sometimes a continual diet of raw foods can dampen digestive fire.

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

The stadium fills with the ghosts of preceding grandmothers. He noted the same effect for food that was finely divided.

They are considered to have walked and run as fluently as we do today, with the same characteristic stride that we have.


However, they had a companion who survived and joined the Yandruwandha, ate lots of cooked nardoo flour, and was in excellent condition when he was rescued ten weeks later. This might help e? By the end of the experiment their cholesterol levels had fallen by almost a quarter and average blood pressure was down to normal.

Although gelatinization and denaturation are largely chemical effects, cooking also has physical effects on the energy food provides. This book proposes a new answer. This builds community and defines culture. Mar 27, Amy Raby rated it it was amazing. Still the argument is compelling. Little change has occurred in human anatomy since the time of Homo erectus almost two million years ago. He typically monitors the snakes for at least two weeks at a time.

There was a “gradual appearance of innumerable, very fine, lucid specks, rising through the transparent mucous coat, and seeming to burst, and discharge themselves upon the very points of the papillae, diflEusing a linpid, thin fluid over the whole interior gastric surface.

I agree with some other reviewers that the final chapter could have been a bit better but overall this book is a very good one and well worth reading. Gelatinization happens whenever starch is cooked, whether in the baking of bread, the wdangham of pie fillings, the production of pasta, the fabrication of starch-based snack foods, the thickening of sauces, or, we can surmise, the tossing of a wild root onto a fire. But it does not solve a key problem concerning the anatomy of Homo erectus, which had small jaws and small teeth that were poorly adapted for eating the tough raw meat of game animals.

Starchy foods are the key ingredient of many familiar items such as breads, cakes, and pasta. The nights would be cold, dark, and dangerous, forcing us to wait helplessly for the sun.


The difficulty lies in the large amount of time it takes to eat raw food. Starch inside plant cells comes as dense little packages of stored frie called granules. So if the meat-eating hypothesis is advanced to explain why Homo erectus had small teeth and guts, it faces a difficulty with the plant component of the diet. There were changes in anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, wrngham society. But the Man-the-Hunter hypothesis is inconplete because it does not explain how hunting was possible without the economic support gathered foods provided.

Chinpanzees or gorillas would have loved it and would have grown fat on a menu that was certainly of higher quality than they could find in the wild.

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham | Book review | Books | The Guardian

It was well-read though, and I would recommend it, so that’s a plus. In the distant past, long before people first wrote or tilled the soil or took to boats, our ancestors lived there as hunters and gatherers.

It’s the Cooking, Stupid”. Such care suggests that the hunter-gatherers knew better than the musclemen.

In summer women made small twig fires, whereas in winter they cooked over burning seal oil or blubber in stone pots. Quotes from Catching Fire: Universe, Schwarzenegger swallowed his eggs mixed with thick cream Raw egg-eating by muscular athletes has even entered popular culture. But some of the ideas in this book seem plausible and have good supporting evidence.