Why do humans cook? Though it’s all a chimp needs, raw food simply does not deliver the calories needed for a human to survive and reproduce, Wrangham writes. This led him to the fundamental fact that heating food increases its calories and that humans evolved eating cooked food—Catching Fire’s ultimate claim.

Wrangham’s book takes the reader through a number of profound ruminations on the physiological effects of cooking (he says it explains our small mouths and guts and big brains) and then moves on to its thought-provoking cultural consequences (he says cooking led to marriage)

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