Got Bacon Brains? Eating Sliced Meat Helped Accelerate Human Evolution

New research from Harvard shows that the introduction of tools to cut up food helped in our evolutionary split from apes
Staff Writer
Human evolution: The power of deli meat compels you.


Human evolution: The power of deli meat compels you.

We always believed bacon had a scientific purpose and now we know for sure: Scientists at Harvard University have revealed that years of human evolution from ape-like snouts and jaws to humanoid mouths and teeth can be largely attributed to our introduction to sliced meat, according to Discover Magazine.

Between two and three million years ago, humans began making and using tools to help cut, slice, and chew meat. Before then, our diets were largely comprised of hard-to-chew vegetables. With the new tools, we expended less energy in eating which led to the shrinking of our jaws and teeth.

This in turn could have affected other aspects of our evolutionary split from apes, including speech patterns and the size and shape of our brains.

For the experiment, scientists observed the chewing patterns of three groups of humans: Two groups ate plants and roots that we likely ate millions of years ago, while another chewed on goat meat. Scientists had participants chew raw, whole food, as well as sliced and diced food. They worked out that with tools, we chewed two million times less annually.

Over time, our need for giant molars and oversized jaws became less, leading to the humanoid mouth we know and love today. 

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