Monday, March 24, 2008

Food & Evolution

I've been thinking a lot lately about the history of food. Mostly about the evolution of the role food has played in the lives of people living in the West - because those are the culture's I'm most familiar with - but also sort of more generally, since the way we eat today somehow connects back to the way even the earliest men ate.

As a result, this article caught my eye this morning. It's a fairly simple update on the "hobbit" fossils found in 2004 on the island of Flores, off of Indonesia. I've read about it here and there - the fossils suggest a smaller and, well, dumber, species (or variation of the species) than the early man scientists were already familiar with. Possibly, they could point to a different, more complex theory of evolution.

One of the points this article makes is that local folklore includes "characters" that may have been inspired by these creatures. Characters who stole food and could not cook.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, except to say that it's easy to forget sometimes that the ability to cook is one of those complicated, but completely elemental, things that actually makes us human.

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