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Why Raw-Foodies Get Such Poor Miles per Meal

Richard Wrangham knows something about how human diets evolved. He’s a Harvard professor of anthropology, the curator of primate behavior biology at the Peabody Museum, director of a chimpanzee project in Uganda — and he’s willing to sink his teeth into his research. For example, Dr. Wrangham has found that “some of the fruits, seeds, and leaves that chimpanzees select taste so foul that I can barely swallow them. The tastes are strong and rich, excellent indicators of the presence of non-nutritional compounds, many of which are likely to be toxic to humans but presumably much less so to chimpanzees. Of the scores of chimpanzee foods I have tasted, I can imagine filling myself with only a very few species, such as wild raspberry, but alas, one rarely finds more than a handful of these delicious fruits at a time. Since cooking predictably destroys many toxins, we may have evolved a relatively sensitive palette.”Dr. Wrangham’s taste test is part of a radical new theory in how anthropologists view evolution. His new book, Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human (Basic Books), proposes that what fueled the …

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Healthy EatingRaw FoodsVegetarianism

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