Author Topic: Cooking as a biological trait’  (Read 23013 times)

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Metallica

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Cooking as a biological trait’
« on: June 01, 2008, 11:51:45 am »
i'm sure most of you's have seen this article before, but id like to get some of your opinions; especially from those that are 100% raw...
i know rawpaleodiet.org he can only stay at about 80-90% raw and has a hard time maintaining 100% raw, due to feeling spaciness i believe?

but anyways its a good read and its quite interesting.

http://artsci.wustl.edu/~hpontzer/Courses/Wrangham&Conklin-Britain2003CBP%20Cooking%20as%20a%20Biological%20Trait.pdf

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 12:29:11 pm »
See the Wrangham-debunking page on the www.rawpaleodiet.com website which disproves Wrangham's ideas completely. Wrangham, despite his claims, is not taken very seriously by most anthropologists, not least because he has no actual evidence to support his claims and also because his area of expertise is chimp-studies not Palaeoanthrology or Archaeology.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 04:13:17 pm by Craig »
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xylothrill

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 12:37:41 pm »
Metallica,

Thanks for bringing this up!

 I don't have time to comment on the whole paper. I'll leave that to those who are better qualified. I noticed that they lumped raw vegetarians in with raw omnivores. I don't eat any fiber so that's not an issue for me.

As for eating meat. I find it much easier to swallow raw meat than cooked meat. If it's not ground, I just cut it up and swallow whole.
It's really much faster than having to cook and prepare the food.

I have more energy on zero-carb, raw paleo than I did on SAD and I have better sense of well-being. I also require less food than before. All my digestive problems have disappeared. See my testimonial below and read the others as well.

Rawpaleodiet.org is a commercial site specializing in selling supplements. I would take any info there with a grain of salt. The mother site of this forum doesn't sell anything and would be a better source - its purpose is to get accurate information out there, not to make money from adds or selling products. That site is http://www.rawpaleodiet.com if you haven't already been there.

I see Tyler has posted while I was writing this...

Craig
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 04:17:00 pm by Craig »

Satya

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 12:34:20 am »
See the Wrangham-debunking page on the www.rawpaleodiet.com website which disproves Wrangham's ideas completely. Wrangham, despite his claims, is not taken very seriously by most anthropologists, not least because he has no actual evidence to support his claims and also because his area of expertise is chimp-studies not Palaeoanthrology or Archaeology.

Yes, the article to which Tyler is referring has just been updated and can found here:

http://www.rawpaleodiet.com/advent-of-cooking-article/

In fact, I am hoping in the future that we can add a section to this article concerning just what archeological evidence for cooking exists.  Many human dwelling sites that show fire remnants are not remnants of anthropogenic fire.  In fact, the main site with evidence for use of fire in homo erectus - Zhoukoudian - has been seriously undermined recently.

"Much more detailed excavations at Zhoukoudian were carried out in 1996 and 1997 by biologist Steve Weiner and colleagues.  These researchers also carefully analyzed the soil samples they collected for distinctive chemical signatures (which would show whether fire had occurred in the cave) (Weiner et al., 1998).  Weiner and his colleagues found that only rarely was any burnt bone found associated with tools, and in most cases the burning appeared to have taken place after fossilization (i.e., the bones were not cooked).  Moreover, the "ash" layers mentioned earlier were not ash at all, but rather naturally accumulated organic sediment."

~Jurmain, Robert, Kilgore, Lynn, Trevathan, Wenda and Nelson, Harry. Essentials of Physical Anthropology, 5th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, 2004, page 230.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 12:23:28 am by Craig »

Satya

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 05:50:29 am »
A few sentences after that quote comes:

"Finally, the "hearths" that have figured so prominently in archeological reconstructions of the fire control at this site are apparently not hearths at all.  They simply are round depressions formed in the past by water collecting when the cave was more open to the elements. 

"Indeed, another provisional interpretation of the cave's geology suggests that the cave did not open in a manner of habitation sites, but had access only through a vertical shaft, leading archeologist Alison Brooks to remark, "It wouldn't have been a shelter, it would have been a trap" (quoted in Wuethrich, 1998).

"These serious doubts regarding control of fire coupled with the suggestive evidence of bone accumulation by carnivores, have led anthropologists Noel Boaz and Russell Ciochon to conclude, "Zhoukoudian cave was neither hearth nor home" (Boaz and Ciochon, 2001).


~Jurmain, Robert, Kilgore, Lynn, Trevathan, Wenda and Nelson, Harry. Essentials of Physical Anthropology, 5th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, 2004, page 230.

This Zhoukoudian site was inhabited by Peking Man circa 200-500kya.  Wrangham clearly makes really big claims about these types of sites, yet experts in anthropology and archeology completely disagree with his claims.  The burden of proof for claims that we have been cooking much long than is generally accepted fall on Wrangham.  He has no real evidence for his claims, from the research I have done on this advent of cooking piece in the last month or so. 

If anyone has more on the archeological evidence of fires intended for cooking (which means a cooking hearth), I'd be happy to see sources posted or linked here.  Thanks.

Offline boxcarguy07

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 05:57:26 am »
Actually, funny you mention this... I just came across this on another board today:

-------------------------
Evidence of Hominin Control of Fire at Gesher Benot Ya`aqov, Israel
Naama Goren-Inbar,1* Nira Alperson,1 Mordechai E. Kislev,2 Orit Simchoni,2 Yoel Melamed,2 Adi Ben-Nun,3 Ella Werker4

The presence of burned seeds, wood, and flint at the Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya`aqov in Israel is suggestive of the control of fire by humans nearly 790,000 years ago. The distribution of the site's small burned flint fragments suggests that burning occurred in specific spots, possibly indicating hearth locations. Wood of six taxa was burned at the site, at least three of which are edible—olive, wild barley, and wild grape.

----------------


Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 07:35:18 pm »
Which board was that?

Re the 790,000 claim:- Here's an online reference  which you might mention on the other board which casts some doubt on the 790,000 claim re fire used for cooking:-  "A 0.79 Myr old site in Israel [Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Science 304 (2004) 725)] has more credible evidence, though there does not seem to have been any cooking or repeated fire creation. The earliest convincing evidence of fire use for cooking appears at the 0.3-0.55 Myr old late Homo erectus site at Zhoukoudian in China and the 0.4 Myr old presumed early archaic Homo sapiens site of Terra Amata near Nice. In both cases the evidence is primarily in the form of food refuse bones that were apparently charred during cooking. Unfortunately, there still is not sufficient evidence at either site to say conclusively that there was controlled fire in the sense of being able to create it at will. However, by 100 kya, there is abundant evidence of regular fire use at Neandertal sites. By that time, they evidently were able to create fires when they wished to, and they used them for multiple purposes." taken from:-

http://shkrobius.livejournal.com/64991.html

Given that the Zhoukoudian caves "discovery" has been largely debunked as regards the evidence, it seems highly likely that the conclusions re Ya'aqov are similiarly flawed(:-  http://www.jstor.org/pss/2743299:-  " The association of fire with faunal remains, stone-tools and hominid fossils at Zhoukoudian is far from conclusive and is most likely the result of noncultural postdepositional processes"(presumably, they mean that evidence from quite  different, much later  eras in geological time was mixed together with animal bones etc. from earlier eras, thus creating a completely wrong impression re actual date of human use of fire) ).

*I should add that the issue of when cooking was invented is largely irrelevant, IMO. Cooking is such a radically different food in terms of texture /presence of toxins such as AGEs etc., by comparison to raw foods, that it seems unlikely that humans could ever truly adapt to it fully. *
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 07:46:36 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 08:56:53 pm »
The concept of "adapting" to cooked food is very confusing for people, and I think that's the purpose of it. All that really means is that humans developed the ability to use cooking in a way that doesn't stop them from being able to reproduce over the generations. "Adaptation" in this sense doesn't at all ever begin to suggest "optimization" or anything like that; although you will see time and again laymen using the "fact" that humans "adapted" to cooked food as evidence that a diet with cooked foods will be "optimal."

Satya

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 09:09:08 pm »
The concept of "adapting" to cooked food is very confusing for people, and I think that's the purpose of it. All that really means is that humans developed the ability to use cooking in a way that doesn't stop them from being able to reproduce over the generations. "Adaptation" in this sense doesn't at all ever begin to suggest "optimization" or anything like that; although you will see time and again laymen using the "fact" that humans "adapted" to cooked food as evidence that a diet with cooked foods will be "optimal."

Yeah, Kyle, that's right.  Thanks for mentioning this.  We can tolerate some cooked foods, but that does NOT mean they are superior to the same foods raw.  Obviously, the foods we have to cook - grains and beans - are probably the worst possible choices.  Take a look around you at the sickness and obesity that industrialized, highly-processed, highly-cooked foods have brought us.  Adaptation does not mean optimization!  That's my new mantra, hee hee.

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 04:44:48 am »
I'm frustrated to no end at reading people who have no science training make those types of logical mistakes with such surety of themselves. That's why I left the forums at sunfood.com for this one; that one is full of know-it-alls who basically embarrass themselves with their ignorance.

Just because humans were able to increase their population numbers on cooked foods and agriculture, and therefore take over other civilizations that had a lower population and couldn't store food as well, that doesn't mean cooked food and grain agriculture makes humans healthier. That logical jump seems akin to me as a jump off of a bridge, it doesn't make any sense at all.

Offline akaikumo

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 08:04:26 am »
I love how people in this forum aren't idiots.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

Metallica

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2008, 08:35:42 pm »
good points guys

Offline avalon

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2008, 10:20:52 pm »
Quote
Take a look around you at the sickness and obesity that industrialized, highly-processed, highly-cooked foods have brought us.  Adaptation does not mean optimization!  That's my new mantra, hee hee.
I don't think it's fair to lump the cooking of whole foods in with highly-processed, boxed and bagged over the top dead foods that are specifically designed to addict us.

I do believe in raw. In fact I'm having Tuna Sashimi for dinner. But not completely and I can only back it up by using the Inuits and the okinawans use of soups and broths and the fact that they are considered healthiest and longest lived cultures around to date. I know people use the argument that we are the only creatures who cook their food, but that may be the very reason we are who we are. We didn't always eat Swanson's TV Dinners. We've been corrupted by big business.

Best wishes,
Avalon

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2008, 03:22:20 am »
I simply don't believe in the whole Weston-Price notion that eating lightly-cooked/lightly-processed foods  was 100% healthy - for one thing, the native tribes he studied did HUGE amounts of exercise every day which would have helped counter a relatively unhealthy cooked  diet - plus, it's been pointed out by Palaeoanthropologists  that average human health deteriorated very fast when humans at the start of the Neolithic turned to non-Palaeo foods like fermented/cooked grains and raw or heated  dairy(both foods heavily promoted by Sally Fallon and the WAPF). I do agree that minimally-cooking/minimally-processing foods is not as bad as frying/microwaving etc., but that doesn't mean it's truly healthy.
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Satya

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2008, 04:04:58 am »
I don't think it's fair to lump the cooking of whole foods in with highly-processed, boxed and bagged over the top dead foods that are specifically designed to addict us.

Hi Avalon,

I have reread my remarks in their entirety, and I can't see that I have lumped all cooking foods with highly processed ones.  Sorry for the misunderstanding.  I believe it is the processed, chemical-laden ones that have wreaked the most havoc on us.  That said, I can think of at least one whole food that is an industrial one: modern wheat.  I do believe that the high gluten wheat has evolved to require mechanized hulling.  It is no health food, imo, and of course, it cannot be consumed raw without serious gastroinestinal distress.  And other foods that cannot be eaten unless they are cooked; potatoes, grains, legumes and others are probably the worst of the lot.

I am not all raw either.  I consume only paleo foods (and that excludes dairy), and most of them are raw, but I too consume some bone broth and cooked meats.  However, I think that these are compromises, and I would probably be best off going all raw.  But alas, I am not there yet.  Yes, bone broths can be considered a traditional food, but the bones of large animals were never more than gnawed on before cooking became widespread, and they can contain fluoride and other toxins.  Eating small, whole raw fish like anchovies would be the better option, as they do not accumulate the toxins in one season that land animals do over the years they graze.

Some people on this board have been so corrupted by bad health, that only raw foods have helped them heal.  Others like me, are pretty okay despite a crappy diet early on and amalgam-filled teeth.  I eat this way to improve my health.  Cooking does destroy nutrients any way you look at it.  But then, cooking bones provides more calories than would otherwise be available.  So it is really an individual choice.

Satya

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2008, 04:11:55 am »
I simply don't believe in the whole Weston-Price notion that eating lightly-cooked/lightly-processed foods  was 100% healthy - for one thing, the native tribes he studied did HUGE amounts of exercise every day which would have helped counter a relatively unhealthy cooked  diet - plus, it's been pointed out by Palaeoanthropologists  that average human health deteriorated very fast when humans at the start of the Neolithic turned to non-Palaeo foods like fermented/cooked grains and raw or heated  dairy(both foods heavily promoted by Sally Fallon and the WAPF). I do agree that minimally-cooking/minimally-processing foods is not as bad as frying/microwaving etc., but that doesn't mean it's truly healthy.

Hey, does anyone know about the skeletal remains of traditional hunter-gatherer societies in the Neolithic?  Do modern, traditional hunter-gatherer societies have approximate height and brain case of truly Paleolithic peoples?  The latter were bigger than grain-consuming Neolithic peoples.  If not, and they never touched grain or dairy, cooking might be suspect for any discrepancies.  Just a thought.

The WAPF has so skewed the work of Price.  Read this thread for more info on that:
http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/raw-weston-price/fan-of-price's-work/

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2008, 06:12:53 am »
What would be interesting would be  a comparison between partially-raw-meat-eating Eskimoes of the 19th century and the remains of all-raw-eating cavemen/Homo Erectus etc. from more than 300,000 years ago. I do know that the eskimoes have the largest skull-sizes of modern humans, which seems to imply that the higher the animal-food-intake , the larger the brain. There's also a discrepancy in that beyondveg.com has stated that there was a 3% drop in brain-size between 35,000 to 11,000 years ago, followed by an 8% drop during the Neolithic when grains and dairy were introduced - perhaps the 3%  drop was due to eating a higher percentage of cooked-foods in general?
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Offline avalon

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2008, 08:04:25 am »
I'll be honest and say it's hard to know who to trust these days. It seems like every Doctor has some peer reviewed data to back up their claims. I don't dismiss raw. If I were to eat liver, I'd want it raw. Cooked was the absolute worst! And I lived 90% raw on the Wai Diet for a year. But like y'all following your paths, my path led me to more of a compromise. If I boil a veggie, I drink the water as a tea. I can't believe how many nutrients I've poured down the drain over the years.

I'm familiar with Edward Howell and his take on enzymes, but again there's the yang of it. There's always that push pull thing going on and the more I learn, the more I question everything.  ??? 

I've said this before elsewhere but I do think this is an amazing time in nutritional exploration. Now, with the internet, people are banding and exploring all over the place.

I can promise that I'm open to learning more. Maybe I'll swing back to all raw, who knows  ;D I am the biggest Sushi addict!

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2008, 09:27:32 am »
I came from Wai Diet too.

Many of us are transitioning.
I've made the transition to full raw, thanks to all the guys here, and especially Geoff.
Now I can see how polluting cooking really is.  Now I refuse to cook my food, not one bit.
And my taste buds have changed.  Healthy raw liver should taste awesome!
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Metallica

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2008, 08:51:01 pm »
i always try to be 100% raw, but i always go back to cooked food, i feel better when i do 60% raw about

i did wai diet for 2 years

but i do find that raw foodism is just an extreme diet. not the optimal; just my opinion.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 09:01:41 pm by Metallica »

Offline avalon

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2008, 12:55:13 am »
I'm not sure I've noticed any big difference in how I feel either way. But I can be living in bliss if you know what I mean. I do enjoy the chase.

My concern has been achieving and maintaining my weight- hopefully through non-SAD means. Which I had a few weeks back before an emotional meltdown DOHHH!!!

If you're eating meat only, I think you might get away with 100% raw. But if you include vegetation, I do think some items lend themselves to cooking like kale or broccoli or carrots. If you steam or don't throw the water out and not over-cook.

Why does the word 'cook' suddenly sound evil to me  ??? Uh oh

Offline Raw Kyle

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2008, 01:35:01 am »
but i do find that raw foodism is just an extreme diet. not the optimal; just my opinion.

You certainly seem intent on repeating that opinion a lot.

Offline avalon

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2008, 06:59:33 am »
Raw foodism is just an extreme diet?  ::)

Offline wodgina

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2008, 09:32:38 am »
Quote
Metallica, cooked food does seem to give me a psychological boost/comfort but then I have to keep eating it to get the effect and start to feel sluggish/rings under my eyes/asthma. This emotional boost could be why you feel better.

I wouldn't call that a "boost" as such. What seems to happen in my case is that my adrenals start pumping out stress-hormones (making me feel nervous and irritable etc.) plus cooked- and processed-foods have opioids in them which give a small feelgood factor for a very short while. The trouble is that this is a few hours later, I start feeling  absolutely awful and fatigued for up to 24 hours afterwards, sort of as though I were nursing a mini-hangover( or a huge hangover, if I've eaten something particularly high in cooked-fat of any kind). The result is that on the rare occasions I eat cooked-food, I usually tend to mix it with some raw(eg:- "sushi").
« Last Edit: July 26, 2008, 05:52:07 pm by TylerDurden »
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xylothrill

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Re: Cooking as a biological trait’
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2008, 09:38:22 am »
Raw foodism is just an extreme diet?  ::)

Surely, denaturing food and/or adding all sorts of synthetic chemicals to it isn't the least bit extreme.

 

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