Minnesota Farmer

Forged in the fire
April 25, 2010, 10:05 am
Filed under: cold, food, food safety, hunger, science, time, Uncategorized

We often think of think of how things have been made in or formed by fire, but I don’t think mankind often sees how his whole species is made by and for fire.

When scientists talk about tool making as the thing that sets us apart from other species they often find that we are not the only ones who use tools.  Chimps, ravens, sea otters and other species all use tools of some kind to catch food or open hard shells.  Man is the only one who uses fire.

For man, fire is both tool and enemy.  We fight fires that threaten homes and forests.  We use fire to clear land and to dispose of unwanted items.  Fire is both a friendly source of comfort at night and a destroyer of what we hold dear, but it is in the way it has shaped our food that fire has shaped us the most.

Fire can destroy harmful organisms that would grow in our food.  It helps to tenderize food to make it easier to digest.  Fire has helped man move from hunter/gatherer status to the modern city dweller he now is.

Fire makes it possible for us to live better than any other species on earth.  Fire is our helper, our god and our creator.  No wonder so many ancient peoples worshiped fire.



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