Friends of Ashland Public Library, along with the Ashland Farmers Market, presents this fascinating UCSD symposium about what is known about the evolution of human nutrition. In this first part, three speakers present brief but provocative talks.
Leslie Aiello provides some background and defines the overall goal which is to highlight the evolution of human nutrition from our earliest ancestors to the modern day and to draw attention to the diversity in the human diet and its consequences
Unlike all other free-living animals, human populations need to eat much of their food cooked. From an evolutionary perspective, Richard Wrangham contends that the special feature of the human diet is not so much its ingredients, as how we prepare them.
Steven Leigh explores the nature of the primate microbiome with the goal of understanding the impacts of microbiomes on human evolution. His results point to important contributions of microbial ecosystems to the evolution of human diet. He also sees implications for human brain evolution through energy and micronutrients that are produced by microbial taxa.