Author Topic: How long did humans consume raw meat for?  (Read 3629 times)

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Offline Ferocious

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How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« on: April 09, 2012, 05:27:42 am »
This is just simply for my own knowledge, so I know what to tell people that challenge me and my eating. I tend to let my own logic decide what I eat, but most people would feel better with a scientific explanation. So...

What percentage of our existence as homo sapiens did we consume raw meat? Approximately when did we start cooking?

Any links to evidence would be great. Thanks!

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 05:41:12 am »
Most of the evidence shows us as having started eating cooked foods c. 250,000 to 300,000 years ago, so we were eating raw meats for 90% of the palaeolithic era. Not that duration is of any real relevance.
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Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 06:38:16 am »
We've been eating raw meat since before we were humans!
The default is raw meat.

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Offline Projectile Vomit

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Re: How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 06:46:34 am »
Homo sapiens has been eating raw meat for 100% of our existence. Witness indigenous groups on virtually all continents that, until forcibly assimilated by colonial forces, continued eating at least some of their meat raw.

In my opinion, there are many logical fallacies tossed about within the context of the cooking issue. Just because some people began cooking food at some point in the past doesn't mean that everyone across our entire geographic range did so. Cooking, as an adaptation, might have emerged in one remote location and remained an isolated behavior for centuries or millennia before it spread more widely. The archeological record isn't complete enough for anyone to draw well-founded conclusions regarding the geographical extent of cooking over time.

The incompleteness of the archeological record also prevents us from telling whether successive generations of people cooked their food, or whether it, as an adaptation, emerged and died out repeatedly due to being a failed experiment that caused more harm than good.

Finally, just because some people began cooking food at some point in history doesn't mean that they cooked all of their food. They might have cooked occasionally or even rarely, or only cooked particular things for strange reasons we can't fathom, but the artifacts of their occasional cooking survived for an archeologist/anthropologist to find (and interpret, with their prejudices biasing their interpretation).

I don't know when Homo sapiens started cooking our food or, in particular, our meat, or how common this behavior was geographically over time. I do know that my body is quite well adapted to eating certain types of foods without cooking them, particularly the meat of herbivorous land animals, some fish, and many types of fruits of vegetables. Personal experience should always be held higher than "science", in my opinion.

Offline Iguana

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Re: How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 03:17:27 pm »
Very good post, Eric, thanks.
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Isthmus

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Re: How long did humans consume raw meat for?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 05:12:55 pm »
Very good post, Eric, thanks.

Agreed, great post, thanks [:

 

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