More data on how eating meat helped to grow our brains

Sujata Gupta for Nature – Brain food: Clever eating:

Our ancestors’ consumption of meat is what made us who we are.

Moreover, what the animal eats also matters. Livestock and poultry in Western nations are often raised in large facilities and fed diets that consist mainly of maize and soya, whereas animals from poor villages are typically farmed on a much smaller scale and forage for a greater variety of foods, which increases the nutrient content of their meat. Given these sorts of variations, Hosking says, “we have to be very cautious about making dietary recommendations … for people who have access to large quantities of food.”

Meat is good food. But only certain meat.

So the key question becomes how much meat should a cognitive-health-conscious person eat. Too little can delay development and cognition. But too much, particularly if it is low quality and mass produced, is associated with other health concerns, such as heart disease and cancer, along with memory problems later in life. A person’s life stage matters: pregnant women need more iron, as do babies and children. Genetics also play a part, but we don’t yet know all the particulars. All these caveats make for a murky takeaway.

But a lot of other animals eat meat. The article doesn’t talk about our cooking of meat, which I think is the key to how we’ve evolved.