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Home » Heribert Watzke: The Brain in Your Gut (Full Transcript)

Heribert Watzke: The Brain in Your Gut (Full Transcript)

Heribert Watzke – TRANSCRIPT

This technology made a very important impact on us. It changed the way our history developed. But it’s a technology so pervasive, so invisible, that we, for a long time, forgot to take it into account when we talked about human evolution. But we see the results of this technology, still. So let’s make a little test. So everyone of you turns to their neighbor please. Turn and face your neighbors. Please, also on the balcony. Smile. Smile. Open the mouths. Smile, friendly.

Do you — Do you see any Canine teeth? Count Dracula teeth in the mouths of your neighbors? Of course not. Because our dental anatomy is actually made, not for tearing down raw meat from bones or chewing fibrous leaves for hours. It is made for a diet which is soft, mushy, which is reduced in fibers, which is very easily chewable and digestible. Sounds like fast food, doesn’t it. It’s for cooked food.

We carry in our face the proof that cooking, food transformation, made us what we are. So I would suggest that we change how we classify ourselves. We talk about ourselves as omnivores. I would say, we should call ourselves coctivors — from coquere, to cook. We are the animals who eat cooked food.

No, no, no, no. Better — to live off cooked food. So cooking is a very important technology. It’s technology I don’t know how you feel, but I like to cook for entertainment.

And you need some design to be successful. So, cooking is a very important technology, because it allowed us to acquire what brought you all here: the big brain, this wonderful cerebral cortex we have. Because brains are expensive. Those have to pay tuition fees know. But it’s also, metabolically speaking, expensive.

You now, our brain is two to three percent of the body mass, but actually it uses 25 percent of the total energy we use. It’s very expensive. Where does the energy come from? Of course, from food. If we eat raw food, we cannot release really the energy.

So this ingenuity of our ancestors, to invent this most marvelous technology. Invisible — everyone of us does it every day, so to speak. Cooking made it possible that mutations, natural selections, our environment, could develop us. So if we think about this unleashing human potential, which was possible by cooking and food, why do we talk so badly about food? Why is it always do and don’ts and it’s good for you, it’s not good for you? I think the good news for me would be if we could go back and talk about the unleashing, the continuation of the unleashing of human potential. Now, cooking allowed also that we became a migrant species.

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