eli5: How did humans learn that some foods are poisonous when raw but not poisonous after being cooked?

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eli5: How did humans learn that some foods are poisonous when raw but not poisonous after being cooked?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Someone ate it raw and died.

Someone then tried cooking it and didn’t die.

That’s literally all there is to it. Just like how we found out any other food is poisonous or not, someone ate it and found out if it was or not.

These days we have testing we can do to see if any foods contain known toxins. But there’s still some that contain compounds we don’t know are safe or not, but they’re lab tested now rather than risking someone’s life.

Anonymous 0 Comments

When you already cook your food and your choice is between dying of starvation or maybe dying of food poisoning, the best option is obvious.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sometimes, but not all the times, our nose and scent reveales what is harmful to eat and not. Same with our taste. People also don’t always die with the first bite. You can take one or two bites of something and feel a bad taste which signals to the brain “don’t eat this”.

Also we can eat poisonous stuff and not die but only suffer. After that people learn to not eat that and it’s poisonous.

We are evolved to feel pleasure from eating things that are of benefit to us and is edible. This is why the scent of cooked meat is “good” and trigger hunger while the scent of burnt wood does not trigger hunger, we can eat meat but not wood. In reality meat and wood don’t have any taste. The experience of taste and scent is within us in the mind. If our bodies could digest wood we would feel hunger and pleasure when we see and it it. Same way we can feel repulsion from things that are poisonous and uncooked. But not all the time though.

Anonymous 0 Comments

First there was Bill, Bob, Amy and Anne. Bill ate a mushroom and died, the other 3 watched him die and then did not eat the mushroom.