Date: Tue Sep 26 12:44:52 2006
Posted By: William Gunn, Grad student, The Center for Gene Therapy, Tulane University
Area of science: Biochemistry
You are asking why we have to cook food, instead of just eating everything
raw. The answer is that we don't have to. We choose to. We eat vegetables
raw all the time, but there are many dishes that feature raw meat too, such
as sushi, carpaccio, and steak tartare.
Cooking does a couple things to food:
Cooked food is safer to eat because the cooking process kills bacteria [and other parasites]
growing on food which would make us sick if we were to eat it.
The process of cooking food also creates flavors which aren't present
in uncooked food, and our ancestors learned to prefer these flavors because
cooked food is safer than raw food.
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