Phylogenetic analysis suggests that human ancestors may have invented cooking as far back as 1.8 million to 2.3 million years ago. Re-analysis of burnt bone fragments and plant ashes from the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa has provided evidence supporting control of fire by early humans by 1 million years ago.
Why did cavemen start cooking meat?
Cooking makes food more digestible and kills off the bacteria that cause food poisoning. The Homo erectus all had small teeth relative to their body size. They were too small for the task of grinding down large quantities of tough raw food. Heat makes food softer, so less time is needed for chewing.
Why are humans inefficient at processing chunks of raw meat?
Humans are extremely inefficient at processing chunks of meat. It passes out of our stomachs quickly and then languishes in the intestines, where for other meat-eaters such as true carnivore and omnivores, it stays in the stomach for a really long time, with a short ride in the intestines.