"I cook, therefore I am"
Humanity’s first technology : This decidedly separates us from all the animal species : Cooked food!
How old is it? Well, all our teeth don’t have specialized canines or the herbivorous types – they’re much weaker and simpler, designed for consuming soft mushy food. Our digestive systems too don’t need to be half as powerful as other animals’ need to be. Why? It’s because with the onset of cooking, humans’ bodies stopped needing over-specialized teeth or digestive parts. So seeing how many generations it would take for these evolutionary changes to happen : Quite old! We can actually use this to document how a technology has shaped the path of a species’ evoluton. Yet, there’s more to this. Something even more significant.
Human brains are very large compared to any other animal, right?
This brain was able to expand because it had more energy available to it than usual.
The reason why the human body was able to provide more energy to the brain than what other animals could provide their brains, is…
The technology because of which vastly greater varieties of food could be taken, transformed and consumed as edible sources of energy! In one fell swoop, a human could provide its brain far more energy than any other animal could! Cooking, paved the way for human intelligence and civilization!
This, and more, demonstrated in Heribert Watzike’s TED Talk : The brain in your gut
Funny how this emerged right when we’re seeing so many cooking contests suddenly taking over the reality TV scene!
My take : Every single community, race, sect, country, and any and all groups of humans on this planet, cooks their food. If what Heribert and others like him have asserted is true (and at present I can’t find anything that opposes the logic), if we can fully grasp the significance of how it shaped civilization as we know it, then I now have for you a religion that could potentially unite all of humanity, with the kitchen as the temple, and the traditional cook of the family the priest. Suddenly, we can put religion back in the hands of women – the original Creators, and in one fell swoop eliminate all religious conflicts on the planet.
Think about it.
Order from Chaos: Taking everyday materials and creating something from them that is more than just its sum parts – not through just simple proportions, but through a mixing of energy and mass that transform each other, to create something unique and divine.
Life begets life: whether vegetarian food or non-vegetarian, living matter is broken down to its constituents to fuel more life. By recognizing the circle of life we are a part of instead of seeing a linear chain of consumption, our attitude towards our own waste and byproducts could undergo a sea change, taking away most of the planet’s pollution and waste problems with it.
A change of priorities : We would recognize the fact that when provided with surplus energy, human evolution chose to redirect it to the brain instead of the muscles – in effect giving higher priority to creativity and thinking than to brute strength and power. If our own body’s cells placed creation higher than destruction, then our collective’s policies could follow suit as well. We might just evolve out of war!
It’s always good to think of new ways to solve old problems, eh!?