Cooking food is the defining activity that makes us human, according to Harvard biological anthropologist and primatologist Richard Wrangham. In an interview with Seed, Wrangham says that cooking food makes it easier to digest calories, which may have led to our evolutionary dominance over other species. It has also created a system of ownership, where food is saved and owned, rather than eaten straight off the vine like monkeys.
This ownership society also led to our societal system of marriage, according to Wrangham, where dominant males do “manly” things, like hunt, pillage, and talk politics, while relying on females to cook the dinner. Marriage, Wrangham says, is essentially a “protection racket in which the woman is required to feed a man because of the threat of having her food taken by other men.”
No word from Wrangham on why cooking is such a male-dominated profession.