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Parents Case

Essay by   •  May 31, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,509 Words (7 Pages)  •  999 Views

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Everyone tends to remember their parents always stating when you come home; I'll have a hot meal for you. In the future, we still find our parents or others making sure you have had a hot meal. Well, according to the article, "What Makes Us Human? Cooking, Study Says" in National Geographic on October 26, 2012, hot meals could have led to us having a larger brain than our ancestors before us. While conducting my research, I wanted to determine if this article was indeed factual or if the information within the article might have been for entertainment only.

The article in National Geographic was very interesting from the start, beginning with the title. It grabbed your attention and kept you interested in reading more into Human Brain size and how was directly linked to cooking. Is cooking what truly makes us human? Does it truly make us the people we are today? It was a great start to an article that went several different directions yet had one focus in mind. The article compared brain size and how it has developed through the years. From the beginning of the article, the author made it clear to quickly tell readers what the article was about. The article began with discussing human brain size and how it has been directly linked to the invention of cooking several years ago. (Mott 2012)

The article mentioned the earliest species, primates, and how they survived on a mostly raw food diet. On this diet, the primates spent hours a day searching for food and consuming the amount of calories needed to function. Unfortunately, according to the article, since the brain uses more calories to function than any other body part, we could not have the best of both worlds several years ago. The early species had to choose between brains or brawn as the author states. (Mott 2012) The Neuroscientist that was interviewed in the article states that even with the size of the apes, the raw food diet they consumed could not have supported brain growth. According to the article, even the existence of King Kong would have been almost impossible because raw food could only produce so much mass. (Mott 2012)

In this article, the author gives credit to the earliest of the human species, the Homo erectus. This was supposedly the species that had learned to cook and therefore they increased their brain size dramatically over the course of 600,000 years. (Mott 2012) The author used a study performed by Suzanne Herculano-Houzel and her Colleague Karina Fonseca-Azevedo, both Neuroscientists at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. (Mott 2012) Houzel and Fonseca stated that "Cooking was Key" and the heating of our food unlocked nutrition." (Mott 2012) The Neuroscientists stated that heating our food helps the body metabolize our food yet, while eating raw food our body only metabolizes a percentage. (Mott 2012) Besides the scientific studies, surely cooking made eating a little easier and flavorful as well. The article continues by stating that cooking helped us get the vitamins and nutrients needed for brain growth which led to growth in other areas of our culture.

This article also touches on some of the fad diets that have raided society in later years. The Raw Food diet is where people eat raw food and vegetables to survive. Although you can lose weight on this diet, Houzel writes in the article, "that for a healthy individual, it's a terrible idea."(Mott 2012) The article even mentions the Paleo Diet and how it's founder, John Durant, claims that we should eat more like our caveman ancestors. (Mott 2012) The article mentions why people try these diets and that some believe heating our food breaks down necessary nutrients and enzymes that may be beneficial to our health. (Mott 2012)

Towards the end of the article, the author touches on our obsession with food and how we have not completely mastered how to consume. We can at times over consume, which can lead to health problems. It's also interesting to know that the Neuroscientists believe we may not even be at the height of our brain growth, that there still may be more to come. Houzel believes that with the right diet, we could continue to evolve much bigger brains. (Mott 2012)

The article was very easy to read and all terms and scientific information seemed to be used correctly and under the right contexts. The title grabbed my attention and after seeing it, I wanted to read more. I wanted to understand why our brain size has increased. The Neuroscientists and the author had coincided which seemed to be credible and the scientific information seemed to be researched well. This article started well and gave us a little background into why it was being written and why it would be of interest in the first place. The article did steer off topic at times, ranging from brain size to King Kong not being able to exist to the diet fads of today but somehow the author seemed to make it work. Although, there were not any graphs or diagrams



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