Cooking: What Separates Men From Apes (and Women)

And anthropologically speaking, women are always the cooks
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 1:14 PM CDT
Cooking: What Separates Men From Apes (and Women)
"In many societies you can really say that food or domestic promiscuity is far more serious than sexual promiscuity," says Dr. Richard Wrangham.   (AP Photo)

Cooking—not just eating—meat is what prompted human evolution, Richard Wrangham argues in his book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, and he discusses his beliefs—including an opposition to the trend of raw diets—with Salon. “Raw foodists argue quite strongly that it is our natural diet,” the doctor says. “But it was natural 2 million years ago, not a few thousand years ago.”

Cooked food is more nutritionally efficient, Wrangham argues, giving man more energy to develop bigger bodies and brains—and gender roles. “Cooking has this huge impact on households and our system of gender as we see it today,” he says. “In every single society women cook for men,” something so important that "it's more of a breach of social convention for a woman to feed the wrong man than it is for her to have sex with him." (More cooking stories.)

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