I have been surfing web sites about the virtues and drawbacks of maintaining a diet composed exclusively of raw foods. One issue that I have yet to see addressed is whether the ingestion of hot (temperature-wise) foods has had any deleterious effects on the human body, since we apparently are the only species to cook some of our food
Unless you burn yourself with your hot food I don’t think there are any bad effects from cooking on your body.
To some extent nutrition is lost via cooking. However, cooking also aids digestion. IIRC you could starve to death eating raw potatos no matter how manny potatos you had access to. The complex carbohydrate chains in a raw potato take more energy for your body to break down than is given back by the potato. Cooking the potato first breaks down those chains so when you eat one (a cooked potato) you get a net energy benefit to you body.
Given that cooking also kills unwanted bacteria (e.g. salmonella) the overall benefits to cooking outweigh the few drawbacks (e.g. losing nutrition).
As for being the only species to cook our food the last time I looked we are the only species capable of cooking our food. I also know my dog will gleefully eat a steak cooked or raw…she doesn’t seem to care.
That doesn’t sound quite right. How about I say instead:
“…I don’t think there are any bad effects to your body from eating cooked food.”
Scientists have discovered that laboratory experiments cause cancer in mice.
Good grief…what doesn’t cause cancer these days?
I won’t deny what the link Photog provided say but I will point out that the studies describe thei own findings as tentative. The data has suggested a link but larger, more comprehensive studies need to be performed.
That said go to the CDC, FDA, USDA, CFSAN and whoever else you like and you will see the same refrain repeated over and over regarding food safety…cook your food.
From U.S. Food & Drug Administration Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook comes the following list of nastiness you can get from tainted foods. In most cases cooking the food sufficiently will avoid infection (although not in all cases such as Prions which I omitted from this list since they are a funky thing unto themselves). Many of the things listed below are ‘merely’ uncomfortable but survivable if contracted such as Salmonella (explosive diarrhea, cramps, fever) while others are downright deadly. An incredibly small amount of the Botulism bacteria will kill you unless immediate medical treatment is sought. Even with treatment infected people have to remain on a respirator for weeks to breathe for them and require a few months in a hospital after that. Long term effects can be felt for years after exposure. Majorly nasty stuff that.
I think the risk of cancer from cooked food is a reasonable tradeoff to avoid all that crud listed above.
Ha! Yet another reason not to eat sushi.