Sometimes, you just want to get your hands on some food and goof around. Don’t worry; it just means you’re human. Sometimes, I cook when I’m hungry. Then there are those times I find myself heading into the kitchen with a strong drive for … well … nothing in particular. And I’m not even hungry. I just want to prepare some food. That’s all. I want to mess with food. And that can lead to an extra unneeded meal.
We humans do more and more complex food manipulation and preparation than any other creature. I speculate that the drive to play with our food — to handle, shell, peel, pound, grind, cut, cook, and carry food — is built into our genes. A couple of decades ago, it would have been thought that there has not been enough time since we began complex manipulation of food for evolution to act on our behavior.
Now, however, we realize that the apparently relatively slow rates of evolution displayed in the fossil record actually often represent long periods in which nothing much was happening interspersed with periods of rapid evolutionary change. In fact, serious evolutionary change can occur in just a singl... Read more