How Cooking Frees Men - Article

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Rebecca Cross

Article 9
How Cooking Frees Men
This article explains how the discovery in cooking foods has dramatically changed the way we live, and the amount of time freed up by spending less time chewing. Raw food takes much longer to eat than soft cooked foods. The discovery of cooking changed our social division of labor between men and women. The Hadza tribes are foragers; hunters and gathers, and now that cooking food is possible, the men hunt for meat, while the women forage the land for anything edible. When the men come back to the village, the women hope they have meat or honey to provide, but if they come empty handed, the women have the food they have gathered already prepared for the hungry men. The men and women share their food with one another, their children, and extended family. Even though my family and I are not foragers, this sounds very similar to the same way I was brought up. My father would make the money that paid for the food, while my mother would stay home to raise us children and cook. She always had dinner ready for my father whether he was coming home from work or home after looking for a job. Either way, we always had food on our table. There were even summers that we had to pick fruit with my mother on farmers land so we can have canned fruit stock our pantry. We would forage in the fall walnuts that have fallen off a walnut tree on the side of some road, so she can make banana nut bread. As a child I was put to work on several occasions to help my mother, and that was not the same way my brothers were raised, they would be allowed to go hunting or fishing with my father. Even though my family and I are not foragers we have a lot of similarities with the Hadza tribe and how they divide their labor based upon gender and age.

Foragers follow the method of hunter and gatherer, to collect their food. They form small communities of mainly family; immediate and extended family. The men hunt for food while the women and...
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