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Why cooking is so important.

Washington, Nov 7 (ANI): A new study by Harvard researchers has found that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat.

The finding suggests humans are biologically adapted to take advantage of the benefits of cooking, and that cooking played a key role in driving the evolution of man from an ape-like creature into one more closely resembling modern humans.

The research conducted by Rachel Carmody, a student in Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, also raises important questions about the way modern humans eat.

"The results of this paper are equally relevant to human evolution and to the way we think about food today," Carmody said.

"It is astonishing that we don't understand the fundamental properties of the food we eat. All the effort we put into cooking food and presenting it - mashing it up, or cutting it, or slicing or pounding it - we don't understand what effect that has on the energy we extract from food, and energy is the primary reason we eat in the first place," he stated.

In the study, Carmody fed two groups of mice a series of diets that consisted of either meat or sweet potatoes prepared in four ways - raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded- forty days.

The results, Carmody said, clearly showed that cooked meat delivered more energy to the mice than raw.

It's a finding, she said, that holds exciting implications for our understanding of how humans evolved.

The study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Nov 8, 2011
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