Did Meat Make Us Smarter?

There was a very interesting article on NPR that I just found.  It’s called Food for Thought: Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter.

Essentially, the article is saying that when our ancestors switched from eating only fruit, vegetables, and nuts, to eating more meat, we had more time to spend on other things.  Digestion was using up the majority of the bodies energy supply, but then we started to eat meat and:

Meat is packed with lots of calories and fat. Our brain — which uses about 20 times as much energy as the equivalent amount of muscle — piped up and said, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

When we started to eat meat, our teeth, jaw, and mouth changed – as well as the big gut we were carrying around.  We had a big gut because we were eating everything raw.  Not that raw diets are bad, but cooking some foods helps the body digest those foods.  Raw foods were just being kept in our bellies being digested.

What does this mean to us?

Is it wrong to be a vegetarian?

I don’t believe this article is making that claim, but it’s fun to think about.  It is only saying that eating meat and cooking our food allowed humans to have more energy to do more things while thinking about other problems to be solved.  I guess one could make the argument that humans today need to have meat in their diets, but that is another argument and not at all the focus of this article or the research behind it.

All this article is saying is that eating and cooking meat helped humans evolve faster.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *