text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
Search Multimedia
Image
Video
Audio
More
Multimedia in the News
NSF Executive Staff
News Archive
 

Email this pagePrint this page
"Raw Data" -- The Discovery Files


The Discovery Files
Audio Play Audio
The Discovery Files podcast is available through iTunes or you can add the RSS feed to your podcast receiver. You can also access the series via AudioNow® by calling 405-875-0058 on any telephone.

In a first-of-its kind study, Harvard researchers have shown that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat, a finding that challenges the current food labeling system and suggests humans are evolutionarily adapted to take advantage of the benefits of cooking.

Credit: NSF/Karson Productions

Audio Transcript:

Now, You're Cookin'.

(Sound effect: theme music) I'm Bob Karson with the discovery files--new advances in science and engineering from the National Science Foundation.

(Sound effect: early tribal drums) Humans are a unique species. Among other things, they're the only species to master fire, and be able to cook. Although we've evolved all the way to cooking competitions on cable, we have, until now never definitively shown that there are distinct benefits to firing up our food.

Harvard researchers in a first-of-its-kind experiment started with a simple premise: could methods of processing our food increase its energy output? Their study examined four ways of preparing food: raw and whole, raw and pounded, cooked and whole, and cooked and pounded. While previous studies focused on how food is digested, the Harvard project honed in on energy value--energy being the reason we eat in the first place.

(Sound effect: mice) Two groups of mice were fed a diet of sweet potatoes or meat, prepared by one of those methods. Changes in body mass and energy output were monitored. Across the board, cooking delivered more energy and as if they knew it was better for them, the mice preferred the cooked food.

The findings provide evidence that perhaps human evolution itself got a boost when our ancestors learned to use fire. The increased energy may have helped in the development of a larger, more athletic physique and a more complex brain. The study could have implications from food labeling to battling obesity and malnutrition.

Want to feel more energetic? Kiss the cook.

"The discovery files" covers projects funded by the government's national science foundation. Federally sponsored research--brought to you, by you! Learn more at nsf.gov or on our podcast.

 
General Restrictions:
Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Images credited to the National Science Foundation, a federal agency, are in the public domain. The images were created by employees of the United States Government as part of their official duties or prepared by contractors as "works for hire" for NSF. You may freely use NSF-credited images and, at your discretion, credit NSF with a "Courtesy: National Science Foundation" notation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

MP3 icon
NSF podcasts are in mp3 format for easy download to desktop and laptops, as well as mobile devices capable of playing them.

 



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page