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In this stunningly original book, Richard Wrangham argues that it was cooking that caused the extraordinary transformation of our ancestors from apelike beings to Homo erectus. At the heart of Catching Fire lies an explosive new idea: the habit of eating cooked rather than raw food permitted the digestive tract to shrink and the human brain to grow, helped structure human society, and created the male-female division of labour. As our ancestors adapted to using fire, humans emerged as "the cooking apes". Covering everything from food-labelling and overweight pets to raw-food faddists, Catching Fire offers a startlingly original argument about how we came to be the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today. "This notion is surprising, fresh and, in the hands of Richard Wrangham, utterly persuasive ... Big, new ideas do not come along often in evolution these days, but this is one." -Matt Ridley, author of Genome
'A fascinating new analysis of human violence, filled with fresh ideas and gripping evidence from our primate cousins, historical forebears, and contemporary neighbors' -- Steven Pinker 'A brilliant analysis of the role of aggression in our evolutionary history' -- Jane Goodall It may not always seem so, but day-to-day interactions between individual humans are extraordinarily peaceful. That is not to say that we are perfect, just far less violent than most animals, especially our closest relatives, the chimpanzee and their legendarily docile cousins, the Bonobo. Perhaps surprisingly, we rape, maim, and kill many fewer of our neighbours than all other primates and almost all undomesticated animals. But there is one form of violence that humans exceed all other animals in by several degrees: organized proactive violence against other groups of humans. It seems, we are the only animal that goes to war. In the Goodness Paradox, Richard Wrangham wrestles with this paradox at the heart of human behaviour. Drawing on new research by geneticists, neuroscientists, primatologists, and archaeologists, he shows that what domesticated our species was nothing less than the invention of capital punishment which eliminated the least cooperative and most aggressive among us. But that development is exactly what laid the groundwork for the worst of our atrocities.
Our capacity to care about the wellbeing of others, whether they are close family or strangers, can appear to be unimportant in today's competitive societies. However, in this volume Penny Spikins argues that compassion lies at the heart of what makes us human. She takes us on a journey from the earliest stone age societies two million years ago to the lives of Neanderthals in Ice Age Europe, using archaeological evidence to illustrate the central role that emotional connections had in human evolution. Simple acts of kindness left to us from millions of years ago provide evidence for how social emotions and morality evolved, and how our capacity to reach out beyond ourselves into the lives of others allowed us to work together for a common good, and form the basis for human success.
Food—We all need it and we all want it. We want it delicious, and ideally not toxic. But how the heck do we make sense of the choices paraded before us, when the so-called experts can’t agree and the guidelines change from day to day? Recommendations based on simple, sterile laboratory analysis of one nutrient, one effect, have no place in the pantheon of science… nor the pantry of any respectable chef. Michael S. Fenster, MD, interventional cardiologist, and professional chef, separates fact from fiction and wheat from chaff. Invoking the power of the total Food Experience that every chef and food lover understands, he helps diners focus on what they’re eating in a powerful explosion of ceremony and substance. As the Food Shaman, Chef Dr. Mike combines modern knowledge from a variety of disciplines with the ancient ritual of the first chefs and healers: the shaman. The result is a quantum leap in understanding the power of the Food Experience, and why it must nurture our soul through delightful tastes and textures beyond basic nutrition.
Now a Netflix series! New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook and multiple IACP Cookbook Awards Named one of the Best Books of 2017 by: NPR, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Rachel Ray Every Day, San Francisco Chronicle, Vice Munchies, Elle.com, Glamour, Eater, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle Times, Tampa Bay Times, Tasting Table, Modern Farmer, Publishers Weekly, and more. A visionary new master class in cooking that distills decades of professional experience into just four simple elements, from the woman declared “America’s next great cooking teacher” by Alice Waters. In the tradition of The Joy of Cooking and How to Cook Everything comes Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, an ambitious new approach to cooking by a major new culinary voice. Chef and writer Samin Nosrat has taught everyone from professional chefs to middle school kids to author Michael Pollan to cook using her revolutionary, yet simple, philosophy. Master the use of just four elements—Salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which delivers flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and Heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food—and anything you cook will be delicious. By explaining the hows and whys of good cooking, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will teach and inspire a new generation of cooks how to confidently make better decisions in the kitchen and cook delicious meals with any ingredients, anywhere, at any time. Echoing Samin’s own journey from culinary novice to award-winning chef, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat immediately bridges the gap between home and professional kitchens. With charming narrative, illustrated walkthroughs, and a lighthearted approach to kitchen science, Samin demystifies the four elements of good cooking for everyone. Refer to the canon of 100 essential recipes—and dozens of variations—to put the lessons into practice and make bright, balanced vinaigrettes, perfectly caramelized roast vegetables, tender braised meats, and light, flaky pastry doughs. Featuring 150 illustrations and infographics that reveal an atlas to the world of flavor by renowned illustrator Wendy MacNaughton, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will be your compass in the kitchen. Destined to be a classic, it just might be the last cookbook you’ll ever need. With a foreword by Michael Pollan.
**Now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exectuve produces the four-part series based on Pollan's book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth. ** In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Goldstein presents a lively analysis of Shakespeare, Milton, religious writers and recipe book authors from the perspective of communal eating.

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