Our hominid ancestors probably could not have eaten enough raw food to support large, calorie-hungry brains. The key to our evolution may have been the invention of the kitchen
November 1, 2012
Who RICHARD WRANGHAM
VOCATION | AVOCATION Flame on: Argues that the practice of cooking food, beginning with Homo erectus, ultimately enabled the human brain to evolve to its current large size.
RESEARCH FOCUS Into the frying pan: His theory has many skeptics because only scattered signs of fire use by H. erectus exist. One example: a Chinese site where H. erectus may have spat hackberry seeds into early campfires (producing spectacular sparks).
BIG PICTURE On the importance of the stove: “Everywhere, everyone expects a cooked meal every evening.”