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A new study of chimps may suggest our love of cooking has deeper roots than we ever thought.

New research shows that chimps prefer cooked food. Yes, that's actually a big deal — here's why.

People LOVE to cook. A lot.

Like, a lot a lot.


"NOTHING makes me happier than watching my BF flip veggies. Except maybe this polo shirt." All images via Thinkstock.

No, but really. We love to cook so much that we'll spend money to watch other people cook.

"Iron Chef." "Chopped." "Cupcake Wars." "Hell's Kitchen." A bajillion other shows.

Maybe right now you're thinking, "OMG that is soooo true! Cooking is my favorite thing ever!" Or maybe you're more along the lines of, "What no no no get that thing away from me."

"Wow WTF are we even all looking at?" "Just. Keep. Smiling."

But despite your personal feelings (and abilities), you've gotta admit it: Cooking is a huge part of human culture.

So when did our love affair with cooking actually start?

There's some debate among experts as to when humans first started using fire for cooking. But a new study of chimpanzees may suggest that this development came a bit sooner than we'd previously thought — like, maybe a million years sooner.

As reported by The New York Times, Harvard and Yale scientists have been researching whether or not chimps have the necessary cognitive skill to cook.

"Should I make pasta? Or just order pizza???"

Turns out they do.

Not only do chimps prefer the taste of cooked food, they also have the patience and forethought required to forgo raw food.

In a series of experiments, researchers found that not only do chimps prefer the taste of cooked food, they also have the patience and forethought required to forgo raw food to allow someone to cook it for them.

Here's what the scientists did.

They presented the chimps with a slice of raw potato. The chimps would place the potato into the "cooking device" (which was actually just hiding a piece of cooked potato), and the scientists would "cook" it and return the piece of cooked potato to the chimps to eat.

Step 1: Put raw potato in cooking device.

All GIFs from Harvard University via The New York Times.

Step 2: Scientist cooks the potato for you. (Or really just unveils a hidden cooked potato.)

Step 3: Eat delicious cooked potato.

Turns out, the chimp study may tell us quite a bit about our own cooking history.

The fact that chimps could maybe cook — if they had the ability to manage fire — could be a sign that our human ancestors were developing the cognitive ability to cook quite a while before we previously thought they were.

See, experts of human origin believe that the big shift in human brain capacity came when we started using tools about 2.6 million to 3.3 million years ago. More nutrients, more energy, bigger brains.

"TBH I would so much rather be eating cooked banana rn."

But some scientists, including British primatologist Richard Wrangham, believe that we also started cooking shortly after that and that cooking food was actually a bigger deal for our development. Cooked food is advantageous because it's softer (which means less time chewing and smaller teeth) and gives us more energy (which means longer lives, more babies, more travel, and bigger brains).

Cooked food is advantageous because it's softer and gives us more energy.

The problem with Wrangham's theory has been that scientists simply haven't yet found physical evidence to support it. The earliest evidence of using fire for cooking dates back only about 1 million years, long after the use of tools began.

But that's part of why the chimpanzee study is so awesome: It's a mark in favor of Wrangham's theory. It shows that early humans, who would've been cognitively similar to modern-day chimps, just might have had the skills to start cooking many years (like, maybe over a million years) sooner than we thought.

Pretty darn cool, right?

So it's really no wonder cooking has become such a huge part of our culture — we've been doing it for at least 1 million years.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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