Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Cooking skills may have emerged millions of years ago - via Mike Playfair

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News

3 June 2015 

New research suggests that chimps have most of the mental capabilities needed to cook food.

This suggests that the ability to cook food is deep seated and may have arisen in human ancestors millions of years ago.

The conclusions also indicate that humans may have developed the ability to cook very soon after they learned how to control fire.

Humans must have adopted cooking fairly early in their evolutionDr Felix Warneken, Harvard University

Surprising as it may seem, even boiling an egg requires advanced mental skills. Whereas other animals tend to start eating whatever food they find or hunt straight away, humans can store and cook their food, even if we are fairly hungry, because we know that if we wait what we eventually eat will taste better.

It seems that our ability to smack our lips at the prospect of a delicious, well prepared meal requires a similar inspired leap of the imagination as producing art, developing language and creating the technologies that make us uniquely human.

So when your mind wanders and thinks of a nice meal when you should really be paying attention to something else, be assured that it is this foodie forethought that makes us human.

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