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|Barked: Sat Nov 5, '11 1:21am PST |
|This is my guess out of thinned air. Did human start cooking meat because of the religion? Almost all religion states, at the least, no eating the blood of mammals I believe? I think that was mainly because human got disease from raw meat.
Cooking started with homo erectus.
The first evidence of symbolic thought--without which religion isn't even a possibility--is at least 30-50,000 years after physically fully modern homo sapiens emerged.
Bans on consuming blood are rare, not something "nearly all religions" have.
As unwelcome as the idea is to some, humans started cooking food, both meat and veggies, because it breaks down the internal structures that resist digestion, and renders both otherwise-indigestible portions of the carcass and hard-to-digest vegetation more digestible, thus creating a greater amount of usable food.
Not the ideal time of day for turning on the brain and digging out references, but The Energetic Significance of Cooking, Rachel N. Carmody, Richard W. Wrangham, Journal of Human Evolution, 57(2009)379-391, covers some of the issues. That's a full-text PDF, so those who want to can read the whole paper.
While cooking has long been argued to improve the diet, the nature of the improvement has not been well deﬁned. As a result, the evolutionary signiﬁcance of cooking has variously been proposed as being substantial or relatively trivial. In this paper, we evaluate the hypothesis that an important and consistent effect of cooking food is a rise in its net energy value. The pathways by which cooking inﬂuences net energy value differ for starch, protein, and lipid, and we therefore consider plant and animal foods separately. Evidence of compromised physiological performance among individuals on raw diets
supports the hypothesis that cooked diets tend to provide energy. Mechanisms contributing to energy being gained from cooking include increased digestibility of starch and protein, reduced costs of
digestion for cooked versus raw meat, and reduced energetic costs of detoxiﬁcation and defence against pathogens. If cooking consistently improves the energetic value of foods through such mechanisms, its
evolutionary impact depends partly on the relative energetic beneﬁts of non-thermal processing methods used prior to cooking. We suggest that if non-thermal processing methods such as pounding were used by Lower Palaeolithic Homo, they likely provided an important increase in energy gain over unprocessed raw diets. However, cooking has critical effects not easily achievable by non-thermal processing, including the relatively complete gelatinisation of starch, efﬁcient denaturing of proteins, and killing of food borne pathogens. This means that however sophisticated the non-thermal processing methods were, cooking would have conferred incremental energetic beneﬁts. While much remains to be
discovered, we conclude that the adoption of cooking would have led to an important rise in energy availability. For this reason, we predict that cooking had substantial evolutionary signiﬁcance.
! 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The effects of cooking on digestibility are a matter of the physical effects of cooking on food, and completely separate from such issues as just not having the right enzymes to digest milk, having longer or shorter intestines giving the body more time to process more challenging foods like most vegetables and grains, or dogs being better designed for digesting meat than we are.
It's an overall effect; however good you are at digesting the food raw, cooking makes it somewhat easier to digest.
However, digestibility is not the only issue in food choice. Within rational limits, of course. Most of us are not concerned about keeping weight on our dogs if they are basically healthy dogs; keeping weight off is a far more common concern.
This means that for healthy dogs, greater digestibility/more efficiently getting energy from food is not an unmixed blessing.
And because dogs are better designed for digesting meat, and can get or manufacture from a good raw diet without veggies all the nutrients they need, the benefits of cooking are not as great, the loss of nutrients in cooking, while much less of an issue than it's usually made out to be, is more significant for dogs than humans, and so if you cook your dog's diet, you need to make sure you're supplementing appropriately.
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