Why Do We Cook?

When it comes to comparing humans with other animals, cooking stands out as a pretty significant difference. And that's not just a difference today — it might be key to making humans what we are today. Advanced techniques for heating and breaking down proteins and nutrients to get a lot more energy out of food were likely vital in helping early humans advance and grow … both in stature and in brain size and function. You've often heard that we are what we eat … now you can add we are because we cook! We literally ate our way to becoming a stronger species.

In addition to the downright satisfying aspects of preparing and sharing meals with loved ones, the video below takes a deeper dive into how and what cooking helped change for early humans, from changing the amount of time ancestors needed to spending eating every day to helping to form strong social bonds and encourage cooperation. Find out how cooking helped early humans get and successfully use one fifth of the calories they ate to make our brains and bodies what they are today. And the next time you grab a skillet, give a nod to cooking for literally helping us get where we are today!

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