Humans are Evolved to Eat Cooked Food - Fire is the Key

"Controlling the Fire" is one of the most important discoveries that evolved us to be Homo sapiens, the latest and best species on earth. The best proof of the above fact is that no other species eat cooked food, as they tend to run away from fire. Even the strongest wild animals run away from fire as they are fearful of it. But human ancestors learned the art to control fire and that fear was long gone. This art helped us in roasting the meat and then cooking the food. But how does cooking helped us in evolving as humans ? You will get an answer to this question in this article.

The Calories

Our ancestors like monkey, chimpanzee and apes used to eat raw veg food gathered from plants and tree. Their body used to struggle hard to extract sufficient energy from that type of food. If you have studied biology then you must be aware of the fact that plant cells have cell wall, known as cellulose, which hard to digest. That raw veg food made our ancestors eat more and increased their gut size. Chimpanzee and apes have got 60% bigger gut then humans only due to this fact.

Importance of Time

As our ancestors were eating more so they need to keep searching for food, which was not only time consuming by also making them deficient of calories. As their brain was not getting sufficient calories, it was not developing as much as it should. A developing brain also needs some time, that it can spend in some creative activities, but it was impossible to get due to their always searching and eating schedule. Do you know that gorillas and orangutans keep eating for nine hours per day.

In the beginning our ancestors diverted from veg to non-veg diet as it was richer in calories and kept them full for longer duration. It made them indulge in other creative activities and during that time we learned to control fire. It was a milestone in human evolution.

How Fire helped us in evolution ?


  • As the time progressed we learned to eat roasted food, which made both veg and non-veg food easily digestible. Heat made the food softer and lesser time was spent in chewing.
  • We started to extract more calories from same food and got more time to explore more and develop our brain. Our brain also started to get sufficient calories and nutrients to develop itself.
  • Heat treated food was also safer, as a number of pathogens were killed by heat and there was lesser chance of food poisoning. It must have given our ancestors relief from some diseases.
  • Fire also acted as a tool to save ourselves from wild animals and our ancestors started to live on land.
  • Fire also helped in making tools, that were later used to cut woods and make a good habitat on land.
  • Fire was also used to make utensils of soil and mud, which were used for cooking and storing purpose.
  • Evolution of Agriculture made humans store grain and provided them a food security. It gave them relief from hunting schedule and they reverted back to a mixed diet of both veg and non-veg.
  • Fire helped them in cooking the cultivated food and made stay at a single location. It also made them using some cattle as their pet, and utilizing their milk.
  • Cooked food reduced the size of our gut by 60%, when compared with our ancestors of similar stature.
  • Even the size of our intestine has reduced. It is because of the fact that cooked food is easily digestible and consumes lesser time and lesser calories for digestion.
  • Our smaller teeth and jaw tell about the same evolution attributed to cooked food. 
Today we have evolved so much that we can't survive on raw food alone, as we don't have bigger jaws, teeth and intestine to extract sufficient energy from it. Now our digestive system and enzymes is designed to eat cooked food. Some uncooked salad won't hurt.
Sometime people tend to go towards completely uncooked food, with no salt and sugar, to be slim and get more near nature and live a disease free life. Such steps can sometimes have a negative effect on your body. So don't be your own doctor and always consult a good dietitian before making any drastic changes in your diet.

Note: Today we have become so good at processing food, that we are eating more calories than needed. It is affecting the whole humanity with a disease named Obesity. 
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