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Meat eater vs. Vegan debate welcome, but please keep it within debate topics.
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Some theories suggest that raw food did not lead to us having this discussion about raw food, interestingly enough:
All human societies cook. This practice distinguishes us from other species and has been argued to be obligatory given our biological commitment to a high-quality diet and the fact that cooking substantially increases net energy gain... Overall, our results draw new attention to the potentially transformative role of cooking for energy balance and food choice during human evolution.
—Genetic Evidence of Human Adaptation to a Cooked Diet
Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foods impose a tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons, which explains the small brain size of great apes compared with their large body size. This limitation was probably overcome in Homo erectus with the shift to a cooked diet. Absent the requirement to spend most available hours of the day feeding, the combination of newly freed time and a large number of brain neurons affordable on a cooked diet may thus have been a major positive driving force to the rapid increases in brain size in human evolution.
—Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution
Using fire to prepare food made early humans move away from the former feed-as-you-go-and-eat-raw-food strategy and toward the sharing of cooked foods around fires, which became attractive locations for increased social interaction between individuals.
—On the earliest evidence for habitual use of fire in Europe
Humans have consumed cooked foods for some 300,000 to 400,000 yr, perhaps 12,000 generations, and no groups of humans who lived without cooking have been recorded. So a human can be classified as a cucinivore, rather than an omnivore... Moreover, animals have adapted to different foodstuffs as herbivores (including frugivores, folivores, granivores, etc.), carnivores, and omnivores. We present evidence that humans have diverged from other omnivores because of the long history of consumption of cooked or otherwise prepared food. We consider them to be cucinivores. We present examples to illustrate that the range of foodstuffs that can be efficiently assimilated by each group or species is limited and is different from that of other groups or species. Differences are reflected in alimentary tract morphology. —Comparative physiology of digestion
Unique among extant primates, modern humans are anatomically adapted to regularly consume substantial amounts of vertebrate animal tissues (meat, organs, etc.). Over the last several million years, the hominin gastrointestinal tract has evolved from a chimpanzee-like large-intestine-dominated configuration well adapted for digesting fruits and other plant parts (as well as the occasional small mammal) to a more carnivore-like small-intestine-dominated form well suited for extracting complex nutrients from animal remains.
—Earliest Archaeological Evidence of Persistent Hominin Carnivory
So it seems that eating a raw diet goes against human nature, much more than cooked animals or plants, selectively. It might even lead to dementia:
Intact starch granules in food can pass through the intestinal wall and enter the circulation. They remain intact if they have not been cooked for long enough in the presence of water. Some of these granules embolise arterioles and capillaries. In most organs the collateral circulation suffices for continued function. In the brain, however, neurones may be lost. Over many decades the neuronal loss could be of clinical importance. To test this hypothesis, there is a need to examine brains for the presence of embolised starch granules. Examining tissues polariscopically clearly distinguishes starch granules from other objects of similar appearance.
—Persorption of raw starch: a cause of senile dementia?
Also, Toxoplasmic encephalitis
, marked by dementia and seizures . . .
Soil and food were sources of contamination . . .
Prevention is by properly preparing and cooking food... Up to half of the world's population is infected by toxoplasmosis . . .
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