Did Cooking Really Give Us The F-Word?


Processed foods get blamed for a lot of things. But this week, a group of linguists took it to a whole new level. To put it crudely, they argue that the invention of processed foods like yogurt and gruel, thousands of years ago, gave us the F-word. Lots of F-words. To be more precise, the researchers think that softer foods led to more frequent use of the sounds "f" and "v" in human languages. (Other experts on language are skeptical; more about that later.) According to the new theory, food influenced language through a complex chain of events. First came agriculture and early forms of food processing like fermentation, delivering meals that were easier to chew. No longer were humans relying so heavily on tough meats, roots and berries. And as a...

Did Cooking Really Give Us The F-Word?

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