Saturday, July 11, 2009

Excerpt from Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

Koko the gorilla with her pet kitten

This book is fascinating. An evolutionary history of cooking and how it started, why it started, what it means, etc.

I'm only on page 91, but I came across this section that caught my imagination and I wanted to share it:

Koko is a gorilla who learned to communicate with humans, and she prefers her food cooked. Cognitive psychologist Penny Patterson asked her why: "I asked Koko while the video was rolling if she liked her vegetables better cooked (specifying my left hand) or raw/fresh (indicating my right hand). She touched my left hand (cooked) in reply. Then I asked why she liked vegetables better cooked, one hand standing for 'tastes better,' the other 'easier to eat.' Koko indicated 'tastes better' option."

Catching Fire is published by Basic Books and is currently available it cloth bound.

For more information on Koko check out the Gorilla Foundation, watch some of the video's amazing stuff.

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