Kathy Groves and her team at Leatherhead Food Research have just spent the morning filming with the BBC as part of a documentary to be aired in March.
The documentary discusses the role of diet in evolution. Comparing the raw food simian diet with modern human's diet.
Our simian ancestors evolved a digestive tract to cope with a super high fibre diet, but it required a lot more energy to digest all that woody stuff.
I'm thinking of one of those massive silverback gorillas, just sitting there half asleep gnawing on some branch he's yanked off a nearby tree. The only activity being a bit of chest beating and hollering every now and then to ensure everyone knows who's boss. This is probably completely inaccurate, but you get the idea.
Apparently, cooked food requires a lot less energy to digest and hence modern humans as we know them had more available for other activities like designing, building, and getting all sorts of stuff done, although a bit of chest beating and hollering still exists today.
I may have got this all wrong as I'm working from snippets of conversation and you'll have to watch the documentary to see just how wrong....I'll post a link of course.
Our THMS600 stage was used on an Olympus microscope to show how the starch granules break down with temperature. I'm guessing, it's this breakdown that enabled us to eat and digest starchy foods that were otherwise unavailable as an energy source.
Thanks so much to Kathy Groves and Leatherhead food for letting us get in the way.