Thoughts on Cooking (Part 2/2)

Thoughts on Cooking (Part 3/3)

Posted on Leave a comment

Previously, in spite my well wishes amongst the practitioners and believers of “raw” foodism -I’ve asserted nonetheless that cooking – imparts a physiological and logical necessity at preparing a nutrient at its complete state of rest for best digestion, utilisation and assimilation.

For now – a sharing of pragmatic rituals

Nope, nothing remotely close about advices on buying $50+ worth of boutique metal storage food cases.

1/7

Never cook anything well-done. Unless prepping and eating at once.

There is every reason, or so it seems – to remain fearful from protein oxidations from all cooked (or semi) cooked sources – of meats, both white, red and seafood.

…(sigh). I think I’d settle this once for and all. I’ll go with semi cooked. At least. Better than without bacterial invasions or parasites ensuing in my gut. As I talked earlier – raw salmon (despite sky high expensive) feels cold in the gut; compared to it baked gently in the oven.

Unless if I am cooking and eating all in the same feeding window then “reasonably cooked” (politically defined as anywhere between medium to medium well done) is what I aim for. Mix with herbs and salt to compensate any chances for excess oxidations or spoilage.

If I am cooking for a later consumption – then I know the meats will undergo yet another episode of cooking. Hence the need for me to cook things just lightly at no less than a medium rare. Salt, season further with oregano / rosemary and allow to cool. Set aside two (2) serves in the fridge for allocating two days of consumption, and store the semi-cooked rest in the freezer.

With eggs? I hard boil about 7 for a 3.5 day supply, peel, submerge in water, and sprinkle generously with himalayan salt before fridging it.

But how intense for reheating the previously 3/4 cooked meats + eggs ? Not a whole lot. Warm, but never scorching to the point I see smoke. Just a warm 1 to 2 minute session (depending on other added “collateral” – veggies, condiments etc)  on the microwave on high would suffice. Eggs are too delicate though – reheating (themselves only that is) require no more than 25 seconds of defrost setting and serve immediately.

Beef mince – a case example.

I shall use beef mince here as an example because it still remains an affordable source of complete red-meat based proteins. First and foremost, let the meats defrost in open air, and once done – combine with antioxidant herbs. Rosemary reportedly seemed to be the most effective in reducing protein oxidation. Otherwise, I am using at least minced or pre-peeled vaccuum-packed garlic.

To begin with a choice of either – 1) my cheapo tiny cast iron or 2) my stainless steel pan – I let the pan heat as hot as to allow the Leidenfrost to form. That is – throw a sprinkle of water on the VERY hot pan – if the water dances – indicates that the pan is “ready” for cooking. Turn the heat down to LOW. On the cast iron as long as there is tiny bit of smoke, then it’s ready.

The very first minute of cooking I let the meats cooks under that low setting. Once the glorious sizzling is over, let the excess water and oils – to begin separating themselves.

I stop immediately once the entire mince is submerged in their own waters and oils this can be anywhere between 2 to 3 minutes. From which then this follows on to my next tradition – drain + press + boil water.

2/7

Drain excess Omega-6 Fats.

As with anything of economy grade red-meats; what I will be eating is ultimately what the animals ate. Omega-6 is almost unavoidable given today’s prevalence of conveniences and abundance – over qualitative sustenance.  These additional step/s with boiling water of course only reduce but sadly not fully eliminate the Omega 6 intakes. This is where weekly dose of Vitamin-E, to counter the reportedly excess pro-inflammatory, anti-thyroid tendencies – seems crucial. Chicken / poultry unfortunately, despite my favourite “light” meat source seemed to produce the worst Omega 6:3 ratio.

Still arguing I am not frugal enough? Or suspect that I am cheating my frugality? My Vitamin E in my stock pile as I’m writing this is nearing three months old. A three month investment out of $10. Now beat that against a $20 cheat meal pizza which downs in just an hour. Or your “six pack” alcohol binge weekend excuses. 

Once the beef mince (as example) is submerged with their oils & water = drain through the colander and briefly press down to further separate the liquids and dry proteins for a minute or two. Then, boil a kettle and pour it through.

For every 500g of (store bought) weight beef mince = I expect to see as many as 100 grams of those = to be lost entirely in excess omega-6 fat and moisture content. 

For whole poultry / chicken – these would rely on oven based cooking (see further down the article) but halfway through baking (especially at 20 minutes mark) I take the entire pan out of the oven and just tilt / pour the excess Omega-6 oil & water away manually before putting it back in. A lot of anti-inflammatory herbs I can then find – from parsley to oregano, from mint to rosemary – are further added prior to the baking process.

Would draining the beef mince alter the macros? Yes indeed of course, this lowers the total fat content. 

Here in Australia we use the star rating as opposed to the US more straightforward 80/20, 70/30 etc. 2 star is considered “regular” or “economy” grade bearing anywhere between 20% to 30% fat, variable as per brandA typical 100g serve of regular beef mince with fats and water retained is 210 calories. Where as the same amount with the excess water and oils drained will net 155 calories instead.

As taken from MFP’s Ground Beef- 80/20- Browned, Rinsed, and Drained – Low Fat Ground Beef:

Calories 155 Sodium 72 mg
Total Fat 9 g Potassium — mg
Saturated 4 g Total Carbs 0 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 25 g
Cholesterol 46 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 1%
Vitamin C –% Iron 15%

3/7

The Oven = for thick cuts, organ meats or boned meats.

Whenever longer / more sustained cooking times are preferred without clogging the entire house up in smoke – the oven is my go to solution.

Chicken breast, beef bones for dog food  (if you can find a short dated <$3 ones – it’s a treasure find for us humans too for their rich fat and some meat proteins content),  thick tri-tip beefs / lamb / pork shoulders, as well as organ meats – ox hearts, livers, etc. For tri-tips and pork shoulders I must first slice them patiently into steak like chunks before herbing and baking.

Generally I bake at 150-160 degrees for up to 30 minutes, flip then lower it to 50 to 75 degrees for another 10 minutes.

The same rule applies – I never aim to bake all my meats “well done” unless if I am willingly wait to cook and eat both within the same feeding window.

Generously salt, season further with oregano / rosemary and allow to cool. Set aside two (2) serves in the fridge for allocating two days of consumption, and store the semi-cooked rest in the freezer. Next morning, move to fridge to gently defrost by nighttime for it to prepare yet another re-heating episode.

On all initial baking – I like to use butter, but no biggie for as long the antioxidant herbs + minced garlic on the fatty organ meats themselves are there I feel safe. I used any baking pans I have in front of me, give it a rinse, dump the meats (be sure to premarinate it with herbs or if I want things fancy – Rogan Josh curry sauce at only 3g carbs at worst per 2 tablespoons is enough) into a preheated oven at usually no higher than 160 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for further 10 but at LESS heat (around 75 degrees). And serve.

For whole chickens – I always try to take the time to butterfly it open or portion it as best I could as this helps cooking it faster – anywhere between 40 to 50 minutes will do. The entire chicken must be allowed to defrost fully  and comfortably – or otherwise heat distribution will not be evenly throughout the process.

More importantly on LC / Keto + IF – I try to separate out as much of the carbo-stuffings they put in especially in hard to reach places; hence the need to patiently butterfly the chicken as best as I can.

Drumsticks on the other hand takes sooner to cook, between 20 to 25 minutes at 150 deg c baking temperature would do, followed by another 10 minutes of low heat (at approx 50 degrees). Once again when done – let cool, salt, herb and fridge for later consumption.

4/7

For seafood? It’s a dilemma.

I very seldom able to eat “proper” seafood. The above picture is a graceful rare opportunity for me able to spot a $9 per 2kilogram worth of salmon head with remnants muscle meats with it. Oh yes, the gelatinous bits in the cheeks, the head and the eyes – were amazing. To give you an idea how poor I am – the above opportunity is taken once throughout this entire year – of 2018.

But to be honest I do not know if I should be thankful for the fact that they are so expensive that I don’t bother eating them anyway – or that the never ending debates for salmon or krill oil’s delerious effect on Insulin sensitivity; continues to doubt me.

The Nutritional Humility in me accepts them viably as food, nevertheless. If somewhat now considered a precious commodity.

I do remain biased in my palatable preference for slightly cooked salmon (as the heat allows the “firming” of the texture and the juice that much more convincingly). To lightly cook the salmon – I firstly ensure it all defrosts without excess water, sprinkle with antioxidant herbs, without oils, and bake in the preheated oven no further than 125 degrees celcius, and no more than 10 minutes maximum. Once the colour turns to remotely pinkish white – then it’s already well cooked enough as is.

For canned fish – from sardines to mackerels and tunas – I seldom cook them, if at all.

William Felker @ Unsplash.com

But what about the artificial colouring + all that canola meal they’re fed with?

Unless canned – just another reason why I’d advocate cooking them (raw fillets) than downing them raw and tartare.

Recent months kept me stuck on reading Suppversity’s (/ Proffesor Andro’s) extensive articles and concerns on wild vs farmed salmon. Equally concerning are the methods themselves – evidently more than ever – farmed salmon are becoming an industrialised necessity to accomodate our growing population.

Well, the word “life”; then itself is in my sombre and Nihilistic definition – a burden to someone else’s behalf, and to the planet. A “burden” because Life – imposes a need to reproduce and extend existing genetic material. Yet Gynocentrism is still strong and alive in all corners of Pedestrian Normalcy. They’d likely not interested to speak in favour of my gender anyway. Read my thoughts on the Mouse Utopia Experiment for more on this.

Population” always pre-mediates all qualitative criterias of “Consumption”. This study having found that compared to the nutritive compositional data of Salmons’ back in 2006 against 2015 – we now likely require eating more than twice the amount of fish – just to meet the recommended EPA + DHA intake.

No , I do not wish for ethnic cleansing or depopulation. In spite of soybean fed fish Woolworths Mackerel, they are still a viable source of protein after all. At $2.60 – Humility Through Frugality after all springs into view as priority. Is it optimal forever though? Well, let me just say the edible bones themselves are useful enough as gelatin more than Soylent Green.

Yes, I hear you. What about safeguarding all that excess suspecting elements? The cheap grains / semi oxidised soy beans the fish were fed with? This is where Vitamin E; is here for the rescue. I take it between once to three times a week.

Next – digestive & liver needs. If HALF (yes,”HALF” of the world’s population is already infected with H.Pylori (slide #16) – I’d remain wise to keep (what I’d argue as the most important of all “supplement”) Betaine HCL and pepsin plentiful, alongside with COQ10 as I grow older. Keep a milk thistle liver supplementation on rotation during refeed days where caloric surplus are expected. Furthermore – MSM is still something I’d take in the morning of my fasting window with plain water; though not always if budget prohibits this insurance luxury for the liver health , an anti-inflammatory and a growth hormone potentiator at bone level.

Beyond elusive benefits as painkiller, I’d continue taking aspirin. No, not the absurdly mega dose of 1.5 gram upwards per day. If challenged or asked if enteric-coated or buffered versus uncoated – I’d perhaps side lean to the plain, uncoated. Naked as is.

“Wait what – aspirin? But isn’t NSAIDS harmful???”” Pedestrian Normalcy argues. Interestingly – H pylori infection growth is actually INHIBITED by Aspirin. 

All the above <$60 supplements altogether to me is a much saner and pragmatic option than buying $25 whole kilogram of salmon. The difference is that is of longevity. One last longer for all nutritive concerns as contingency plans for month/s on end.

The other? may turn rancid by then.

6/7

For vegetables – presoak with baking soda and at least, microwave them well.

Professor Andro @ Suppversity once again, shared an interesting insight on the use of baking soda. A study suggested that soaking (practically anything GMO’ed) from vegetables to fruits in baking soda apparently helped reducing the excess pesticides.

I have thus of recent month/s adopted similar practise – I’ve presoaked all my dark greens – kales, silverbeets, etc – with water just enough to cover it, sprinkle generously with him salt and baking soda about a teaspoon worth for each big handful batch. Leave it for a good 15 minutes, drain rinse and re-store.

Alas raw vegetables have convinced me that they not sit well on my gut. All sorts of chest pains and heartburn like symptoms persist. At least – the water heavy ones – zucchinis, lettuces, cucumbers, etc convincingly and repeatedly shows this pattern. Dark and green leafy ones however are here to stay. However, from spinach to beetroot leaves – they still need cooking. 

Despite that – we’ve got one more thing to worry about. The oxalates are bit more resilient than previously thought. Boiling them – still does not escape from this peril, as the oxalate merely leaches out of it and into the water it’s boiled with. What I’d do instead is wash + squeeze and microwave.

Just like all things low carb interventions – magnesium and all round salt intakes is crucial. Particularly magnesium citrates at mitigating risks against kidney stones.

After the meal, I’d sip a warmed Apple Cider Vinegar (+ boiled water), with warmed chicken stocks,  squeeze of lemon (but be careful not to down the entire lemon in it, as that itself contains some oxalates), and him salt.

7/7

Finally – add the (proper) fats to the meal.

….And this leads us to the final tradition from all my years of prior SKD – I very, very seldom – add “heated” oils on top of a dish before serving. Irrespective with or without vegetables (quasi zero-carb) – fats are need to be visible.

ALL fats onto any meals in their final state of serving, in my strict humble opinion only –  should be consumed in just their melted, warm state. Never scorched. Never charred.

So what do we do with all the fats I’ve drained earlier? Well now that the excess Omega-6 is gone and away – NOW IT’s time for me to add the oils and fats I properly should be eating. From butter, olive oils, free-range egg mayonnaise,  sour creams, etc, etc. 

Gently melt them with the meats, boiled eggs and veggies. Done. World peace. Moral pitchforks not necessary.

Eat only for and amongst your-“selves”. Not for or against other people’s beliefs or morality, for goodness sake.

 


So there you have it, a sharing of pragmatic principles in the kitchen and (brief) supplements as contingencies. Comment your thoughts down below if you have a specific workaround or cooking methodology worth sharing!
Henry Doe @ Unsplash

Thoughts on cooking (Part 2/3)

Posted on Leave a comment

Previously, I shared my own understanding that cooking facilitates all progress of surviving and learning. I assert that there is no other logical possibility for these to occur; without a nutrient being first intervened and subdued to its fully rested state both at organic (movement) and micro-organic (bacterial) level to safely sustain the benefactor (the consumer, the predator).

Now – my opinion/s on the so opposing arm of cooking. Raw foodism.

What is (right) or wrong about raw foodism?

Raw foodism argues that perfectionism already exists abundantly in nature. Should not be tampered with. Must be consumed raw. That, with veganism both synergizes together some plausible arguments, nevertheless.

My answer and opinion? There is none. But I know one thing. Everything in nature responds via provocations. I see and interpret these responses as potential sources of threat; whether inactive (dormant) or active (passive). 

Nature is not docile.

I’ve asked “God” what “He” thinks of raw foodism. No answer. Shouting loudly beyond the clouds of methane, nitrous oxide, remnants of agent orange and nuclear wastes. Nothing. But surely – those gases are all sources of threat against my lungs, reproductive, neurological and cognitive systems.

I’ve asked what “nature” thinks. Still no answer. The free roaming wild boars, kangaroos, carnivorous flowers, or the bees; doing their own thing. Nothing. But the bee stings or the carnivorous flower could one day be very threatening to an unwary child. Or that just one swift kick from the roos’ leg can easily cripple me at any moment. Okay, another provocative potentials of threat.

There is no “binary” answer/s to anything of nature. Whether it is right or wrong is not a valid question. But the question should have been – would it provoke a threat?

The “valid” answer seems to be there is a threat in all realms of nature. Be it dormant or moving. Even if we take out the raw fruit off the ground, or a fresh slaughter of the lambs head for the fatty omega-3 rich brains; microorganic threats potentially still lies dormant.

Rising trends of carnivorism amongst today’s Youtube’rs permeating throughout the recommended playlists argues that eating them is safe. All without heat.

Is it truly that simple that we could all rely on this condensed, primal logistics?  Unfortunately, my thoughts are split and not easily convinced one way or the other.

1/2

The Realistic Objectives = Digestibility and Palatability

I will start off being straight. Yes, I anecdotally prefers towards – cooked food in general. Cooked food always assures to me – a familiar, warm, nutrient digestibility.

“Digestibility” I believe – also correlates synergistically with Palatability. This requires a perception of warmth. Thus, required “heat” to sufficiently led to this outcome

The “tastiness” or “ripeness” of any given food is an undoubtedly strong determinant at how well I am going to readily (enzymatically ready) to utilise all incoming nutrients. If a food taste somewhat pale, or unworthwhile – chances are I am unable to utilise any metabolic usefulness out of such food in their incomplete state of rest.

I believe that “Heat” is a metaphor of progress and process. An imposition of all state of changes. “Cold” on the other hand – imposes stasis and delays.

Raw meat feels “cold” in the gut, as opposed to warm and (once again nutritiously) familiar of semi-cooked meats.

….Same goes to fruits and veggies. As much as I at times demonise fructose during carb-refeeds, I’d still nonetheless be more compelled to eat a perfectly ripe banana than an unripe one. Unripe fruits are completely chalky and leaves out an excessively dry areas in and all walls of the mouth. Irritating and itchy at times.

Also, many people ignore these questions –

  • how much / how long often should I actually have to eat to gather my required calories?
  • How long of a time I have to spend eating each time to reach reasonable satiety?

Vegetarian SJWs love comparing ourselves daringly to that of silver back gorillas. Them spending nine hours daily – to keep foraging & chewing cellulose 40 pounds a day. Should we all likewise graze an endless amount of endotoxins? Oh, not to mention cyanide like compounds from raw plant materials?

Isn’t the point of “nutrition” is to nurture, to “ration” (militarist term of) “reason”, and satiate the self – in the shortest amount of time?

…Then “cooking” – is the only logical facility to that outcome. Case closed. The primal man has no access to pressure cooker. But I’d wager he’d be so anxiously hungry. Searching for nutrients from having eaten; yet unable to assimilate any usefulness – out of all that undigestible shrubs, hay and cellulose.

Jez Tims @ Unsplash
Jez Tims @ Unsplash

Completely raw meats? A “No” for me.

Unless fermented, aged or sufficiently salted and dried – I have no problem with likes of ham, few slice/s of salami or prosciuttos. Their elitist price tags barred me from consumptive luxury, anyway.

But I’d argue that the seemingly glorified safety amongst practicing raw carnivorism – it is neither accessibly nor consistently interpreted as safe to the general population. 

We see advices time and time again – that animal welfare counts nutritionally towards conducive criteria. Make sure the animals are “clean”, “Free-range”, “Organic”, etc.  Our current economics system however prohibit these foods accessibility to a select few. The consequent high pricing unfortunately deters the desires of safe raw consumption as so widely purported to withstand any nutritional losses.

I’d also blame much of this is due to our industrialised methodology of production and sustainability. Especially amongst economy grade minced meats production which mixes questionable sources all at once.

Gelatin is no problem. But remnants of hair, nails, dirt, stones and factory debris? No thanks.

General population toxicology studies from raw meat consumptions; from both muscle and gelatinous / organ meats = have proved to be of genuine concern. I do however can attest my past memories of eating raw slices of salmon – which that unfortunately – despite its elitist pricing label – does not taste that all palatable to me.

Likewise, the rarest beef tri-tip I’ve ever eaten was from brief baking in the oven with all the blood and jus retained. It was extremely fatiguingas I gnawed and teethed my way through the tough fibres of meat itself.  “Morally” speaking, it affects me only a little. But it did not represent nor led me able to reconcile that primal notion of comfort as I alluded to in previous part of this feature writeup.

In the context of pure survival mode – what about eating raw predators meat? I’d speculate this even more of a concern.

Predators likely inherit parasitic bacterias from each and every one of their prey in the food chain and thus, bacterial invasions from the preys they’ve eaten (which are most likely raw) would also likely pose a transferrable risk to the human. 

I’d remain hesitant if I were to eat such predator meats entirely raw; if one day I am thrown into the wild and prized myself a dead fox, coyote or wild boar. Thoroughly cooking the meat in such instance, would seem prudent.

Gianni Zanato @ Unsplash

2/2

The Morality Subjectives = Hygiene & Orderliness.

Next – it’s all to do with hygiene and maintaining liberal sense of order.

“Cleanliness” and “cooking” = are both an inseparable compartmentalisation of orderly habits; paving the way to support and maintain immunological equilibrium in any living mechanism. They are both part of the process of you guessed it – by either avoiding or killing – unwanted pathogens. Millions-year evidence of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans exhibited avoidance behaviours from any nearby pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis. Likewise fast forwarding to our present female bullfrogs; intuitively demonstrated not to choose mates who are infected with Candida humicola.

Again, not to compare ourselves to racoons. But their human-like-dexterity paws led some important nerve sensitivities which explains why they seemingly wash their food – in order to enhance and reward signals – of the foods they’re eating.

Hygiene and sensory palatability thus are both convincingly and inseparably – important on one same coin of nutritional sustenance.

But of course excessiveness of hygiene is borderline, elitist insanity. Food is meant to be eaten. Period. What good is it for $25 bomb alaska dessert if I do not wish to ruin its delicate presentation? I am no chef, but look at us humans. Making cooking into a career of all sorts – of “arts”. So much so sadly that it becomes narcisism.

“Art” – for it to bear relevance to human civility, it must bear some (eventual) usability. After all, we still have to eat.

In conclusion – “cooking” is a pragmatic necessity.

I think, for the sake of lingual semantics – the best of an “answer” whether consuming raw foods is “safe” or “not safe” – depends on a qualitative balancing act. Between scrutinising the biological resilience of the individual consumer / the benefactor  against assessing the wildly variable nutrients in their unintervened, untouched, unadulterated raw state. 

You are you. I bear no ill wills towards anyone, either veganism or carnivorism; should this method of consumption works for them, their’s own individualised genetic and metabolic variables – only.

I am nonetheless convinced to give them my undying praise. That there is nothing else more primally simpler, than consuming things raw. Unadulterated. Unaltered. Minimally intervened. Slaugher, harvest and chew.

“Fresh” is an illusion of safe haven in the eye of the beholder. Awaiting are the unknown and unexplored  – microcosmic chaos. Yet unfortunately also, – nothing ventured, nothing gained.“Adulterated” is fear and distrust amongst those responsible behind the intervention – even when widely purported as “safe” and “assuring”. 

I’d remain well and wise to cook. Why? Because I have no right assuming all things in Nature is immutably benign.

 


Now then, onto the pragmatic last and final part (Coming soon!)- what I do and do not do – in my life in the kitchen.
How I prep & cook meats (Part 1 /2)

Thoughts on Cooking (Part 1/3)

Posted on Leave a comment

Reading through this, one day you’ll understand why I often proclaim in my book that “Nutrition” – is simply a symbiosis of all interpretation/s.

If you are a vegan, consider my prior articles that are of relevant to you – pea protein meat loaf recipes (though that still require eggs). Otherwise for the absolute masochist – there’s my article on prepping / marinating TVPs.

Whomever you are new to this blog welcome to the Internet’s least visited independent thoughts on nutrition and frugality.

So “Why” – do we cook?

Weeks on end – it’s extremely difficult for me to come up with a succinct yet sentimentalised reason. The best that I may call it a “reason” – is all derived from the instinct from us to (forcibly) assure that a potential nutrient is in its state of complete “rest.”

Both organic (movement) and microorganic (bacterial) – state of rest.

Before there was “language”, the primal man used his instinct. All from observation and feeling. Our ancestors knew how to survive by observing one thing at a time. They learned, through observation – the state of flora and fauna around them. If it is moving, it is alive. If not, then it is at rest. By inflicting pain and injury long enough – our ancestors discovered that life gradually subsides to an end; evidently as resistance subsides from outside forces.

One clue that I can gather from all of this – is observing the “what” before the gradual understanding of “why” we cook. Knowing the “what” presumes our ability to identify and observe through assessing states of objectivity – of all living beings in their externalised, manifestations. This assesment purely relied on observational visual cues.

Then, like a toddler, curiosity unfolds within the primal man. He’d sniff and takes anything, literally anything motionless – with a small bite. This – is the earliest representation of the “How” – in all of learning processes. An interpretation of nature’s sensations.

Nathan Anderson @ Unsplash

The two major forces of nature encapsulating every second around him were simply temperatures. Hot versus cold.

Compared to “Cold”, “Heat” – seemingly bears the most relevance to survival. Because conveniently; it represents and conjures comfort and assurance. It allows conversations and storytelling flowing at night. Help bonding and communication even in complete darkness. It also assures safety against predators. Keeps him and his family warm at night.

Hence, the primal man learned that at least one goal derives from this curiosity: he longs to seek comfort. If he were to deprive of his sensations of “heat” – he would not have existed at all.

Heat: The constitution behind all curiosities.

Without discovery of fire or at least – very sensory perception of “heat” – life wouldn’t exist. Nothing would continue; from one state to another, only condensed.

The verb “enlighten“, stems from this very need – of clarifying for what is essential, minus the redundancies. Likewise, “clarified” in food terminology – interests only in the concentration of the essentials. Clarified butters, stocks, soups, to name a few.

Archeological evidences, alongside wide theoretical acceptance seemed to suggest the concept of heating food – was mostly what paved the development of our large brains. Irrespective if you align yourselves in the disagreeing crowd – this concept of heat remains undeniably ubiquitous in every movement, every word we speak or a blink of an eye; all involving some oxidation or heat required in their manifested organic processes.

Getting back to the example of our ancestors – food illnesses I’d wager, were dire everyday concerns. Illnesses; occuring from consuming any suspecting nutrient is a side effect of unreconciled learning processes of handling that nutrient. Hence, a logical necessity through trial and erroring at scrutinising whatever else from the meat, or the rough, untreated raw grains; may yet be proven suspects.

If he noticed a change of colour of trees upon it strucked by lighting. Why not then; replicating this phenomenon to anything else?

Coincidentally, he knew how to start a fire. Why not then try it on his existing cache of food?  And, like instincts to that of a child – why not taste it a little?

From pit roasting, baking, or letting it all cook – in the sun. Little by little he discovered his meats gradually tasted more tender and far less laborious to chew and thus allowing lesser metabolic & digestive burden. Why? Because the microorganisms which were once parasitic – shrinks to a lesser and lesser amount by these added induction of heat.

The primal man finally understood “why” cooking is necessary. Gradually, with time and practise – allowed him to digest and assimilate from whatever hunted to usable, comfortable, and interpretively relevant to the physiology.

Erik-Jan Leusink @ Unsplash

Animals potentially share this learning process.

Bonobos, an indirect relative to us humans – have been known to be able at starting a fire; and prefers cooked over uncooked. In an actual study – Chimpanzees were highlighted for their “cognitive capacity” to understand cooking – how it is orchestrated and/or even be taught upon amongst surrounding peers.

Preference for cooked foods over raw also are evident amongst various animals. Raccoons are amazingly flexible – as their preference ranged from peanut butters, cooked scraps off bins, eggs, vegetables, ripened fruits, all the way to also somewhat unappetisingly random compost piles.The same seemingly applies to orangutans with their longing on cooked sweet potatoes, tubers and carrots. Many scavengers from birds to Coyotes; seemingly prefer scouting for cooked foods – as soon as once a natural wildfires zones have eased or subsided.

Often lived and taken for granted under cruelty name of “Science” experiments; rats clearly prefer cooked foods over uncooked. One study suggests that in the presence of hunger, this preference seems intensified.

Ray Peat, a prominent figure in alternative nutrition shared a finding out of a study in the 1940s comparing the wellbeing of rats being fed a variety of vegetables; both canned and raw. The rats fed canned vegetables, appeared more well nourished. The study unfortunately, could not be found to this very day.

This next example may not directly relate to animals’ visualised ability of “cooking” – but cougars have a strangely interesting, socio-economical instinct to leave out (yes, left overs) unconsumed hunted meats, for a long enough time – rather generously for other scavengers to eat. Presumably, leaving things out in the open heat of the sun – implies cooking was subconsciously done nevertheless, as a necessity for other beings – to thrive.

Even if hoarding or “caching” of food do not directly represent a learning process of cooking – these behaviours seen on animals nonetheless resembles our sensory usage of heat to our advantage at either fermenting or storing – for later consumption.  Crocodiles; famous for their very long fasting window (up two years without food) – frequently store their hunted carcasses deep in mangroves, and letting them rot. Crocodiles are seen seldom getting out of the waters – however interestingly, if nearby presence of rotten meat is detected – they are more likely to crawl out and drag the carcasses back to the mangroves.

Stephen Diaz @ Unsplash

What about salt? Institutions aka Dietary Guidelines dictates our pedestrian normalcy that salt deserves no place on the food pyramid.

Animals, on the other hand – appeared more wiser as they subscribe to no “-ics” or “-isms”. The Japanese Macaques; are known to have habitual, salt-palatability preference by dipping their potatoes in nearby salty ocean waters.

….So what can we learn from animals? Beyond nil subscription of politics – their very own potential resemblance to our proximal curiosities at learning; seems cooperative enough that they could remotely learn something back from us.

Whilst I highly doubt chimps would replace the next Michelin star chefs, but the very idea of inviting them into the next episode of Kitchen Nightmares to me – seems not just for an overt humor.

But nevertheless a logical testing; of them and their’s own – evolutionary curiosities.

Hasan Almasi @ Unsplash

TLDR; Cooking helps augment our survivability.

It bears worth repeating – that any realm of “consumption” – requires complete obligatory death of something else. An obligate prey must be free and cleansed of all suspecting elements that deter any effective digestion and/or nutrient assimilation pathways.

Whether done primitively or assisted through technology – cooking is what led us to envelop our means of pragmatic understanding of living and interacting with our environment.

I highly doubt the Palaeolithic man were lend out a saucepan, a gas tank or a portable freezer from willing contributing extra terrestrial/s from outer space.

We must nonetheless be thankful for him and his generations before him – having surpassed and learned much of the very unpredictable and untamed – ecosystems of nature. Having both trialled long list of scrutinies and experiences, I’d remain humbling and grateful. That from all the sickness our ancestors carried; evolution thus nevertheless – capably led us to this very day of unprecedented sustenance.

There is no other convincing causality then; from us all having enveloped our interpretations of the world we live in, by nurturing ourselves, with each and every small learning steps of cooking. To have ensured that all the meats we cached, milks we carried in our saddles, and the potatoes we boiled – rationally led to our very own survival.

 


Click here for the next section; for my thoughts on “raw” foodism.